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  1. #106

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    Origin 2020: Moeaki Fotuaika plays for his brother Mosese after heartbreaking death

    Travis Meyn, News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
    November 9, 2020 8:01am

    Moeaki Fotuaika doesn’t play rugby league for himself.

    There isn’t a selfish bone in the hard-hitting body of this 20-year-old rising star of the NRL.

    When Fotuaika runs on to ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday night wearing a Queensland State of Origin jersey for the first time he will not be alone.

    “If I get out there, he will definitely be with me,” Fotuaika told The Courier-Mail.

    “Every time I play it is for him as well as my family.”

    Fotuaika is referring to his older brother, Mosese.

    Mosese Fotuaika was himself one of league’s brightest talents, a graduate of Keebra Park on the Gold Coast and a Wests Tigers’ under-20s premiership and NRL-contracted player.

    That was until February 2013, when Mosese tragically took his own life, aged 20.

    The death of Mosese sent shockwaves through the NRL and the tight knit Fotuaika family, which includes nine siblings split across Australia and New Zealand.

    Moeaki was 13 at the time and could not understand why Mosese was gone. He cried for days. The pain was excruciating.

    But the heartbreak lit a fire inside this quietly-spoken man. Since that day, Fotuaika has played for the memory of his brother.

    Fotuaika followed in Mosese’s footsteps, attending Keebra Park and rising through the ranks to secure an NRL contract at the Gold Coast Titans, debuting in 2018.

    Growing up in New Zealand, Mosese and Moeaki were separated by six years but the elder brother left an indelible mark which can be seen every time Moeaki takes the field.

    “He was a bit of a bully to me (laughs),” Fotuaika said.

    “He was six years older and would bully me around in the background. Same with my other older brother.

    “It made me stand up and stand my ground when I’m on the field.

    “He played league and made a lot of rep footy teams coming through the junior grades. Watching him definitely motivated me to get up there and play in the NRL.

    “I think he would have been better than me, but things panned out differently.”

    You will struggle to find a more popular player at the Titans and Camp Maroon than Fotuaika.

    He says little, but it is the way Fotuaika conducts himself on and off the field that has made him one of the most adored players at the club.

    Despite being a teenager and carrying painful wrist and knee injuries, Fotuaika was crowned the Titans’ player-of-the-year in 2019. He was runner-up to Brian Kelly for the same award this year.

    Fotuaika’s rise in 55 NRL games caught the eye of Maroons selectors and he will make his Origin debut a few days shy of his 21st birthday (next Monday), a milestone Mosese was only weeks away from reaching when he died.

    “I will grab it with both hands and do my best,” Fotuaika said.

    “I’m trying to enjoy the experience and learn from the senior boys that have been here for a while.

    “I’m the fourth youngest out of nine. There are five sisters and four brothers.

    “When I told them the news they were stoked. They told me to enjoy it. It’s an honour to be here.”

    Fotuaika will come off the bench into the front row furnace as the Maroons attempt to wrap up their first series win since 2017.

    It is a daunting task but Fotuaika’s teammates know he will not let them down in the Origin arena. It’s not in his DNA.

    “I am so proud of ‘Moe’ with what he has had to overcome,” said Queensland forward Jai Arrow.

    “When I first came to the Titans (2017) I was picking him up and driving him down to pre-season training where I got to know him, driving down on the M1.

    “He does not say a word. He is very quiet and down to earth. He likes to have a joke every now and then.

    “I remember when he earned his debut in the NRL the whole bus went berserk when we got told he was debuting and that is because of how much of a good guy he is.

    “Everyone loves him. Everyone loves being around him and everyone wants to be his mate.

    “He is so quiet and such a gentle giant off the field, but when he gets on the field he is an animal. He loves the tough, gritty stuff and he has brought a lot to his game this year.

    “He is not only a great bloke but a great player as well. He has earned his mark in this team and I am sure he will do an outstanding job.”

  2. #107

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    Does anyone know who we are targeting for the 2 open positions in our 30 man squad???

    It feels weird when we are so quiet in the off season compared to previous years (probably for the better).

    Are we still going after one of Melbournes no 9s?

  3. #108
    Rep Player gotitans101_'s Avatar
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    Since nothing's been said I'd just assumed it'd all fallen through and we'd be stuck with Rein and Boyd.

  4. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by gotitans101_ View Post
    Since nothing's been said I'd just assumed it'd all fallen through and we'd be stuck with Rein and Boyd.
    Far from it imo, players only got to start negotiating 14 days ago. There will be some moving and shaking yet to come

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by gotitans101_ View Post
    Since nothing's been said I'd just assumed it'd all fallen through and we'd be stuck with Rein and Boyd.
    We're still in discussions, but one is in origin camp and the other has just gone home to NZ after a 3 week bender. Even if Smith does retire, I wouldn't expect any movement on this front until early 2021. We are relying on Melbourne being kind enough to release one of them too...which they're historically pretty resistant too without some form of compensation.
    "My god I am shredded. I can't believe I got to this point in my life where literally every person that sees me is saying words like "mirin" and "arnie, that you?". It's boring, sure. But it's part of my life."-DavidBouveng
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  6. #111
    Coach Mr Bods's Avatar
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    It’s curious that CSmith hasn’t announced what he’s doing still

  7. #112
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    I think he wants to play on specifically at the Storm but has other pressures not to. The club probably wants him to retire and stay on but doesn’t want to disrespect him.
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  8. #113

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    We have put in an expression of interest towards Jerome Hughes according to the media.

  9. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungryjacks View Post
    We have put in an expression of interest towards Jerome Hughes according to the media.
    to me that means nothing. We have 700k in cap space for next year plus ashleys 900k in 2022 so we are just in the mix. i think this is just a manager picking clubs out that have cap space higher than the storm to drive up his price. and good on him i guess, now is the perfect time to cash in on a premiership win but cameron did way more carrying for the storm at 35 or however old he is than jarome did at 26

  10. #115
    Coach Mr Bods's Avatar
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    I don’t believe the Badel JHughes story. We are set for fullbacks and halves for about a decade.

  11. #116

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    Rumours are that we are in the process of signing Sam McIntyre from the Tigers. Another 2nd rower!!

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whats Doing View Post
    Rumours are that we are in the process of signing Sam McIntyre from the Tigers. Another 2nd rower!!
    Different Sam Mcintyre. U18
    "My god I am shredded. I can't believe I got to this point in my life where literally every person that sees me is saying words like "mirin" and "arnie, that you?". It's boring, sure. But it's part of my life."-DavidBouveng
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  13. #118
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    Wikipedia already has us as having signed Sam Mcintyre. Not sure why we need another second rower though. Would much more prefer a outside back. I also wonder if the Hughes story is correct and Holbrook doesn't see a future in Ash outside of 2021. For me I would prefer Hughes over Ash, although he improved this year he hasn't really lived up to the hype.
    Psmitty

  14. #119
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    Well I’ll be. Looks like we’ve signed two different Sam Mcintyre’s this week.
    "My god I am shredded. I can't believe I got to this point in my life where literally every person that sees me is saying words like "mirin" and "arnie, that you?". It's boring, sure. But it's part of my life."-DavidBouveng
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  15. #120
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    https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp....83b53d24b0aa49

    Can someone post this please?
    I’m flummoxed by how many 2nd rowers we have in our squad now.


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