Tuivasa-Sheck refuses to rest
When the Roosters shot out to a 30-0 half-time lead against the Rabbitohs on Friday night it wouldn't have been a surprise to see coach Trent Robinson rest his star fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
When you've got one of the form attacking players of the competition on your books and a minor premiership sewn up a week out from the finals, no-one would blame you from wrapping said player in cotton wool – least of all expert caller Andrew Johns, who said in commentary he'd like to see the 22-year-old Kiwi pulled from the field early in the second half.
But resting isn't in Tuivasa-Sheck's make-up.
In fact, it's the least Roosters trainer Travis Touma can do to get the in-form flyer to take it easy at training.
Tuivasa-Sheck ran another 243 metres on Friday night, without a line break, and barely matched his phenomenal season average.
After the game he told NRL.com it's his love for the game that gives him the energy to just keep running... and running... and running.
"During the week I'm getting well rested. Travis Touma, our trainer, is pulling me out of training sessions and I'm getting frustrated because I want to run and run with the boys. They have to put a leash on me sometimes just to hold me back but I've got to trust him and it's working," he laughed.
"Each week I just play, I love playing the game, and that's what Robbo's [Roosters coach Trent Robinson] taught us – each week is a game and you've got to come in and love the game."
From the breathtaking sidestep wrong-footing defenders to the countless tackle breaks to the precision cut-out passes and short balls leading to more and more tries that almost go unnoticed beside his potent running game, there is no question Tuivasa-Sheck is enjoying what he's doing right now.
"If you start to think of what's happening points-wise and stuff like that you start to lose the feeling of the game," Tuivasa-Sheck insisted.
His coach was once again almost lost for words to describe what his fullback is coming up with on a weekly basis.
"He's amazing to watch. Where he's got to this year, the level of confidence, the combinations he's built with the guys around him. He's having fun," Robinson said.
"You can see that, the way he plays his footy, he's enjoying himself out there."
The fact his own teammates don't know what he's going to do next means the opposition have little chance, Robinson added.
"So you sit back and watch him come up with something. It doesn't always work but he will be in your face more than any other player to try something again very soon in the next set or later in that set. He's a nice player to have."
Without saying so specifically, you get the feeling Robinson was referring to one of the plays of the game.
We shouldn't really be surprised anymore. If you go to two minutes and 20 seconds in the match highlights you see Tuivasa-Sheck, flat-footed at his own dead ball line, flummox no fewer than three defenders before sending flanker Daniel Tupou on a long run down the touch line that almost lead to a 110-metre Roosters try.
Asked about 'that play', Tuivasa-Sheck talked us through it.
"Yeah, at first I saw [Adam] Reynolds, I thought 'here, I'll try and beat him with speed', then I thought 'no he's got that covered' so then I pulled back and try to read what he's doing and as soon as I felt Toops there and then I just passed to him and they did the rest of the magic."
It's a humble explanation from a humble man but he's happy to reveal how much hard work has gone into his vastly improved passing game.
"All our practice, Steve McNamara our attack coach has been always pushing me to get that ball playing into the game and get the confidence to play and it's working, I have a few shots at training and it works but it's still a bit of a surprise they work on field!"