NRL: Knights flyer Nathan Ross looked like he could have a spot in the Australian Olympic side with his impressive high jump, hand stand style crash over.
JOSH Papalii has taken different approaches to most when celebrating his Origin success. Following the first game, he made the mad dash from Sydney at 2am to return to Canberra in time for the Raiders final training session.
This week, he spent Thursday night sleeping on the couch in the lounge room of his parents Logan home. While he has vowed to never repeat the early morning drive, Papalii has enjoyed some downtime with his family ahead of Sunday’s clash against the Gold Coast.
“The only drive I had to make this time was driving to my parents house,” Papalii said. “That drive to Canberra is something I won’t do again. I wanted to make the captain’s run. I had about an hour and a half sleep before training.”
Papalii was relegated to the couch of parents’ Patrick and Luama’s family home on Thursday night.
“My legs hung off,” Papalii said. “It’s been good to come home and see the parents and drive past all the old spots where it all began for me. All the focus has been on my daughter, she gets all the attention now. I just come in and watch TV.”
Papalii joined his Canberra teammates on the Gold Coast on Friday night. It comes after breakthrough back to back Origin performances. Barring injury, Papalii will play in his first full Origin series, having featured in just one game each of the past two years, following two matches in his debut 2013 series. He ran for more than 100 metres off the bench in the opening two games this year.
“I’m still trying to get used to Origin footy,” Papalii said. “Getting more minutes helps and winning the series helps.
“I’m not comfortable yet. Every time you run out on the field it’s a different game.”
Sunday’s match on the Gold Coast shapes as a defining time for both sides. Canberra came into this round in seventh spot — one place and one competition point ahead of the Titans.
The Titans beat Canberra 24-20 when the two sides met in round four.
“We have to win this one and then come back home and win that (against the Cowboys) before our bye,” Papalii said. “The Titans are the underdogs of the competition this year. Both teams can chuck the ball around and score points. This game our focus is on defence.”