21 Feb 2024

Key Round Two Matchup: Peta Hiku vs Lachlan Miller

Heading into round two of the Betfred Super League season, one of the player matchups to watch out for between Leeds and Hull KR is the battle of the full backs; Lachlan Miller and Peta Hiku.

Find out more about the duo here:

*All data is courtesy of OPTA

Tale of the tape

Peta Hiku

Age: 31

SL Debut: Vs Wakefield Trinity 01.07.2017

Hull KR Record: One appearance, one goal

NRL Record: 201 appearances (60 for Manly, 20 for Penrith, 73 for NZ Warriors, 48 for NQ Cowboys)

International Record: 17 caps for New Zealand, seven tries

In the absence of Lachlan Coote, Peta Hiku was brought in by Willie Peters as an experienced head to balance the Robins' spine and back line. His extensive NRL experience with Manly, Penrith and North Queensland, as well as international caps for New Zealand, puts him as an ideal replacement for the departing Shaun Kenny-Dowall or Kane Linnett following their retirements at the end of 2023.

Hiku also has experience of Super League from a short spell at Leigh and Warrington. 

Lachlan Miller

Age: 29

SL Debut: Vs Salford Red Devils 16.02.2024

Leeds Record: One appearnace

NRL Record: 18 appearances (7 for Cronulla, 11 for Newcastle), five tries

As one of four new spine players brought into the Rhinos side for 2024, Lachlan Miller got his first Super League outing last week in blue and amber against Salford and was one of Leeds' top performers. 

Having shown a glimpse of his speed and agility during pre-season, the full back looked electric against the Red Devils and will be out to impress again tomorrow night when he takes on the Robins defence.

Round one review

New clubs, new partnerships

In a role that requires them to be in tune with their half backs, hooker and loose forward, both Miller and Hiku have adapted to new systems under head coaches Rohan Smith and Willie Peters, and started to form partnerships with other key pivots across the field.

Miller is part of a new look spine for the Rhinos alongside Matt Frawley, Brodie Croft and Andy Ackers as the quartet got their first outing on Friday against Salford. Miller led all four players in carries, total metres  and post-contact metres, plus he made an impression on the entire Rhinos backline as only Ash Handley made more metres (thanks to a 90 metres sprint for his first try of the season). 

Hiku joined Tyrone May as making his first outing in red and white last week alongside playing with homegrown talents Mikey Lewis and Jez Litten too. In contrast to Miller, Hiku's 15 carries was behind Lewis' 20, although he did finish the game with the most metres by any Robins with 197. Ryan Hall was also the only player to make more post-contact metres than Hiku too.

Tackle breakers

One of the standout stats from round one saw Miller set the joint-highest tally for tackle breaks on his debut. Along with Saints prop Alex Walmsley, the full back made eight tackle breaks against the Red Devils, which was two more than the next best players Mikolaj Oledzki and Cade Cust. To provide a comparison, in NRL last year he averaged 6.9 tackle breaks per 80 minutes for the Knights, the third-best rate of anyone to play 900+ minutes in the competition.

Hiku managed 2.1 tackle breaks on average in the 22 games he played for the Cowboys last season, recording his highest tally in the round ten 20-6 win over Sydney Roosters. In round one, he made only one tackle break against the black and whites.

Follow the Rhinos on the road

Tickets and travel can be purchased via the following methods: 

Online- tickets.therhinos.co.uk

Over the phone- 0371 423 1315 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm - Opening Hours)  

In person at Leeds Rhinos Club Shop- Monday to Saturday, 10am to 4pm (Opening Hours)  

Please always check opening hours before travelling Opening Hours  Match tickets and travel will be available to buy from Leeds Rhinos until 3pm on 22nd February, subject to availability.

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