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Try-less Fifita credits attitude adjustment in Origin audition

Titans forward David Fifita has credited a dramatic shift in his approach to football as the driving force behind his strong start to the year and potential return to the State of Origin arena.

Set to line up opposite Maroons stalwart Felise Kaufusi in Sunday's Queensland derby against the Dolphins, the 23-year-old Fifita said he was happy to let his football do the talking as his Origin audition after adopting a new mindset in 2023.

“I want to be back there,” Fifita told media on Wednesday when pressed on his Origin ambitions.

“I’m training hard... I’ve got to play well and see what happens in a couple of weeks.

“It’s just about doing what needs doing at the Titans. I’ve got to keep improving on my game and there’s no better competition to do that than with two Queensland teams going at it.

“My team and I know what I’m doing [this year]. I’m doing things differently.

To be the bloke for the team, I know I’ve got to make sacrifices away from footy.

Titans forward David Fifita

“I’ve done that and I’m continuing to do that. It’s only going to better myself and all the boys.”

After a record-breaking 17 tries in his first season with the Titans in 2021 was followed by another seven in 2022, Fifita’s six-game try-less run is one of the more remarkable statistics through the year so far, but the forward wasn’t concerned by the streak – instead pointing to the new way in which he’s measuring his contributions to the team.

“That [scoring tries] isn’t my mindset anymore,” he enthused.

“I’m still going out there looking for a try, but my mindset has changed. It’s about doing the little things for the team and bettering myself each week.

David Fifita falls just short of his first try of the year against the Dragons.
David Fifita falls just short of his first try of the year against the Dragons. ©NRL Photos

“Everyone is used to me getting over the line or doing all that fancy sort of stuff, but for me it’s simple. In defence, be better and keep moving. And in attack, run the ball hard for my teammates.”

One of many players linked with an off-season switch to the Dolphins before committing his future to the Gold Coast on a long-term deal, the talented forward said he was relishing the chance to re-establish Queensland bragging rights against Wayne Bennett’s side, having fallen last week to M1 rivals in the Broncos.

“It’s good to have another Queensland derby. They’re going so well and our boys are really looking forward to this game with a packed-out stadium,” Fifita said.

Hammer has a big one versus former club

“[Felise] is back on that right edge so it should be a good battle [between us]. He’s a good player to have back for them and has been killing it.

“I enjoy when the two Queensland teams play. I pretty much know all the boys that play in those teams because I’ve played a few junior reps games with the boys from the Dolphins.

“They’re a good team with a good coach there as well.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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