Fifita 'at 85 per cent' but on the up
Sharks firebrand prop Andrew Fifita may be conceding an error and a penalty per game this season but he is still content with his gradual return to form after his thoroughly disrupted pre-season.
In his five games so far in 2015, Fifita has averaged 153 metres and 31 tackles and is slowly returning to where he wants his form to be.
However he is getting sick of comparisons to his breakout season two years ago, when he played the entire State of Origin series with New South Wales as well as six Tests for Australia in the Kangaroos' victorious World Cup campaign.
Fifita is instead focused on overcoming any confidence issues he has in his left arm, after breaking both bones in the arm late last season.
"Everyone keeps referring back to my form in 2013 and that in itself took a while to build up to," Fifita said.
"I can see it slowly starting to happen this year. I'm not saying that the old Andrew Fifita is back though either. I'm looking to be the new-and-improved Andrew Fifita.
"I didn't touch a ball all throughout pre-season, I couldn't even run into people with my arm. I was only allowed to touch a ball and run into someone when our last trial match came up.
"It continues to be a personal goal of mine to get back to where I was. My confidence is at about 85 per cent at the moment but I feel I'm improving every week too."
With the annual City v Country clash just around the corner, Fifita doesn't have representative football in mind just yet.
What he is instead focused on is playing well for the Sharks – who won their first game of the season against premiership heavyweights in the Roosters on Easter Sunday – alongside his brother David.
While Fifita said the excitement of playing alongside his twin was lost over the course of his injury-wretched 2014 season, he is thrilled it is happening consistently this year.
"It's a dream come true. But I think we kind of got over the fanfare of it last year. I didn't get to play with him but he was named alongside me and at the end of the day I have 15 other brothers out there," Fifita said.
"[David] is going really well though – he's running hard, he's doing the little things but at the end of the day he still knows he's a rookie and learning still so he's taking in every little compliment as he can from our coaching staff."