UNIVERSITY coach Tony Munro reckons when Michael Al-jiboori finds space there are not many players in the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union capable of catching the American flyer.
It's the other parts of Al-Jiboori's game that needs developing.
That's part of the reason the American outside centre came to Australia.
The 26-year-old only started playing rugby at the Unversity of Oklahoma in 2011. He graduated in 2015 and has spent the past three seasons at the Denver Barbarians, who were crowned division two national champions last season.
A natural speedster, Al-Jiboori was also in the Denver Elite sevens program and has attended one USA Eagles training camp. His young brother, Malon, has represented the US in both forms.
"We have different types of athletes in America," Al-Jiboori said. "Especially playing sevens, you have some really elite athletes. You come to Australia and there are third graders who can chip and chase and do it easy. The forwards here react quicker and are a bit more versatile. Things are more natural. The way people attack here. They are super fast in contact, out of contact ... everything is done at pace. That's the part of my game I want to improve - making quick decisions with the ball in hand."
Al-Jiboori has crossed for two tries, including an intercept in the 36-22 loss to Wanderers last round, and Munro said his game was improving every week.
"He had his best game by a long shot against Wanderers," the coach said. "He carried the ball well, was strong in defence and played hard over the ball. He got an intercept and once he goes, there are not too many around town who will catch him.
"American rugby doesn't have that foundation we have here in Australia. Here you can start playing rugby at age seven and play it all your life. We are building some of those skills and the technique stuff. He has picked it up quickly and is developing into a real asset."
Al-Jiboori is among a host of overseas players with the Students.
"It is a bit like the United Nations," Munro said. "We have blokes from everywhere.
"The halfback who came on as a replacement on Saturday is from Japan, we have South Africans, Englishmen and Scots. Everyone is trying to find their position within the club and fit into the structures.
"We knew it was going to take five or six weeks to find our feet. In every game, at the 60 minute mark, we have only been a try out. It's the last 20 minutes that is killing us."
Munro said the arrival of two-time Anderson Medal winner Va Talaileva, who debuted against Wanderers, had made a massive difference.
"Va brings that bit of toughness and leadership," Munro said. "He just drags people along and gives them confidence to go with him."
Al-Jiboori, who is working as a graphic designer at Wests Leagues, is confident a win is just around the corner.
"We are definitely improving," he said. "It has been a lot of new pieces working together. Every week has been better. Against Wanderers, it felt we were actually playing rugby for the first time. I think that will be a launching point for us."