Tupou blown away by latest achievement
Even after winning a Grand Final, a State of Origin Series and playing for his country, Roosters winger Daniel Tupou appeared shocked by his latest achievement – his 50th NRL game in his side's 34-26 loss to the Rabbitohs on Sunday.
Having only found out about the milestone just moments before talking with NRL.com, Tupou was genuinely flabbergasted about racking up half a century of appearances for the Sydney Roosters despite achieving everything rugby league has to offer at the ripe old age of 23.
Crediting "his skilled athlete" of a centre partner in Michael Jennings – who he has failed to play alongside just five times in his career thus far – Tupou was excited by the feat.
"I only just found out but yeah it's a very big moment for me," Tupou told NRL.com.
"Obviously it was a disappointing game but to be able to achieve what I have is kind of mind-blowing. To bring up the big 5-0 is something very special."
Talking to Tupou, you can't help but notice a very level-headed kid who is thankful for everything the game has given him.
And who can blame him? It was only eight years ago that Tupou walked away from the game, throwing in the towel while playing for Berala Bears after failing to make an appearance in the Harold Matthews under-16s competition.
Leaving footy behind for six months to concentrate on his TAFE studies in panel-beating and spray painting, it was the words of a family friend that motivated Tupou to give football another crack.
Coincidentally his family friend was former Parramatta cult hero Fuifui Moimoi, whose kind words saw Tupou sign with Parramatta and play in the Eels' under-20s system.
Fast-forward a few short years and the bona fide New South Wales star is just thankful everything fell into place the way it did.
"I didn't think I'd ever get to this point. I gave up on footy when I was 15 or 16. I was playing in the Canterbury competition and the Bulldogs didn't pick or want me to play in their Harold Matthews team so I decided to quit," Tupou said.
"But thanks to the influence and good reference from Fui I was able to get into the Eels' system and play Holden Cup. Then from there I went to the Roosters and I haven't looked back really. I wouldn't have it any other way either."
Labelling the Roosters' Grand Final win in 2013 as his finest achievement – a game in which he comprehensively outplayed his opposite number, Sea Eagles winger David Williams – Tupou was adamant that in order to remain focused on the many, many games of football ahead in his young career, he has no immediate plans to sit back and reminisce on what he has accomplished so far.
"I don't like to think about what I've achieved. I think it would dumb me down a little bit," Tupou said.
"I wouldn't be able to focus on what's ahead of me, so at the moment I'm just trying to concentrate on each game as they come and leave the looking back on my career to later on."