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Soni Luke Can Replace Koroisau But No One Can Fill Kikau’s Void

Penrith Panthers legend Ryan Girdler stated on Saturday Scrum that Soni Luke’s cameo in Round 1 was a bright spot in the reigning premiers 13-12 loss to the Brisbane Broncos.

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The 27-year old hooker has had to wait in the wings in the Panthers NSW Cup side.

Though, after impressing for so many seasons, the departure of Api Koroisau has opened the door for either Mitch Kenny or Luke to make the number 9 jersey their own.

But Girdler believes a rotation similar to last year’s will be the way to go.

‘Well we saw that last year with Mitch Kenny starting then Api coming on after 20-25 minutes.

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‘It made a difference to the way Penrith attack and the pressure it takes off the halves and the playmakers.

‘I think Ivan [Cleary] will bring [Luke] on sooner.’

But the loss of Viliame Kikau might prove too troubling for his former side.

‘I don’t think you can replace a guy like Kikau.

‘The fear that he’d used to put into opponents.

‘He’s got absolutely no respect for his own body.

‘There are so many parts to his game Penrith are going to miss.’