Pisi bidding to rise up the Saints pecking order
Now in his sixth season at Saints, Ken Pisi is facing a fight to force his way back into the first-team picture.
But as statements go, the Samoan’s performance against the Dragons last Saturday was a pretty good one.
Pisi picked up a score, racing from halfway to dot down, before cleverly creating the bonus-point effort for Cobus Reinach.
The sight of the wing back to his flying best was a welcome one.
And the affable 28-year-old is now setting his sights on Aviva Premiership appearances, having only made one in the seven league games so far during this campaign.
“I’ve been pushing and I was just happy to be out there again last weekend,” Pisi said.
“It’s been real tough on me, but I’ve tried to be supportive of the guys playing.
“There’s a lot of competition in our team and I just want to make my way back up.
“It is difficult to build form playing now and then, but for me it’s just about the desire and playing for what I believe in.”
The Samoan is never short of a smile, bringing plenty of energy to the Saints squad.
But his grin was even wider than normal after last Saturday’s comfortable Anglo-Welsh Cup success.
“It’s always good playing at the Gardens,” he said.
“It’s my first start at the Gardens this year and I’m stoked to be out there again.
“It was a good win for the boys.”
For some players, talking up men who are rivals for their shirt can be seen as a chore.
But not Pisi, who was more than happy to praise the work of Juan Pablo Estelles, who now has three tries in his past two Saints appearances after scoring once last Saturday.
“He’s been doing awesome, JP,” Pisi said.
“We’re just trying to put our hands up for the wing spots in the first team and if we can push the others and make them better, we’re doing our job.”
The likes of Tom Collins and Ben Foden will be in contention for this Saturday’s trip to Sixways, where winless Worcester Warriors will be lying in wait.
Saints are desperate to get their league form going again, having lost back-to-back games after winning four in a row.
This weekend’s match is hugely important for Jim Mallinder’s men, who have dropped to sixth after entering October at the summit.
“It will be a big game,” Pisi said.
“We can take momentum from this win and we’ll go back into the Premiership with confidence.
“It’s a big confidence booster for us.
“In the past few weeks we haven’t been doing so well so to get a win and a few tries in there, it really helps our confidence.”