NZ Warriors centre David Fusitua not looking beyond big performance against Roosters
Last updated 05:00, July 17 2015
returned from a second injury layoff this year with a strong display against the Storm last weekend.
fully understands the situation he finds himself in. The 20-year-old NZ Warriors star is determined not to let it detract from his performance against the Roosters in Sydney, however.
Fusitu'a marked his return to the NRL ranks in style last weekend, scoring with a trademark dive into the corner during a 28-14 win over the Melbourne Storm at Mt Smart Stadium. After nearly three months out injured, the athletic young centre-wing earned his recall to first grade on the back of rampaging form for the Warriors NSW Cup side and an injury to Konrad Hurrell, the incumbent No 3.
Hurrell is scheduled to return against Manly in Auckland next Saturday, but Fusitu'a said he hadn't thought too much beyond this weekend.
flies over to score in the corner during the Warriors latest victory.
"Konny is a really good player and for me coming into the side I don't play like him so I just need to play my own game.
"I do things differently and I just need to take this opportunity whether or not I'll be playing next week when he comes back. I've just got to put my best foot forward.
"It's all for the team and I'll do my best for the team."
Fusitu'a notched 12 first grade appearances during his rookie NRL season last year, but early shoulder surgery and another injury after his round eight comeback meant the win over Melbourne was just his second match this year.
The frustrations of those injuries meant he was "stoked" to return to first grade and, although not back to full fitness, raring to go again on Sunday.
"You are never at 100 per cent, but I'm good enough to play and if Cappy (Warriors coach Andrew McFadden) thinks I'm good enough to be in the team I'll be in the team."
While he was used mostly on the wing in 2014, both Fusitu'a's appearances this year have been at centre, a position he played during his junior years but diverted away from in recent seasons.
A increased defensive role and the constant need to stay connected with the players inside and out have been the biggest challenges Fusitu'a has faced in the adjustment. However, he feels he is making big strides and is more than happy to play whereever he's picked.
"It's been pretty new to me, but I've picked up on stuff pretty quickly and Konny has been helping me quite a bit.
"It's different and I didn't train it during pre-season so I had to pick up on stuff pretty quickly, but I'm getting the hang of things.
"I kind of just like to be on the field, it doesn't really matter where I play. I'd like to end up in the centres later in my career, but I've been thrown in there early so I've just got to make the most of it."
Playing inside another young Warriors rising star, Tuimoala Lolohea, has also helped. The pair went to school together at Kelston Boys' High and are related through their parents being cousins, which Fusitu'a said gave them a bit of a "connection" on the field.
The young duo will need every bit of that connection on Sunday with the Roosters' left edge boasting super-talented former Origin player Blake Ferguson and Kiwis flyer Shaun Kenny-Dowall.
But Fusitu'a does not seem daunted. In what is indicative of the confidence flowing through a Warriors side which has moved into the top four after three straight wins, he said they were primed and ready for the third-placed Roosters.
"It should be a good challenge. they are really good players and the Roosters are a good team.
"We'll be up for the challenge this week. It's a good team environment at the moment.
"We can't read too much into the ladder at the moment because there is still nine rounds to go ... [but] we have a good feeling here at the club and all the boys are buzzing so it's a good place to be."