Koni craze set to sweep Cbus
He has an Instagram following in excess of 104,000 and a perfect record at the venue so it is perhaps not surprising that the Titans are expecting one of their biggest crowds of the season to witness the home debut of Konrad Hurrell.
Since his mid-season switch from the Warriors Hurrell has played twice for his new club in Darwin and in Kogarah and after a devastating display against the Dragons – and with his new team in the top eight – a crowd in excess of 16,000 is expected to flood into Cbus Super Stadium to see Gold Coast clash with the Eels on Saturday evening.
Hurrell became a cult hero when he burst onto the scene with the Warriors in 2012 but in his final two seasons at the club struggled to nail down a consistent spot in the first grade team.
With some bullocking runs and a dismissive steamrolling of Gareth Widdop last week Hurrell showed glimpses of what he brings to a team at his best and is eager to make a mark at his new home.
Although this will be Hurrell's first appearance at Cbus Super Stadium as a Titan he has scored five tries in four previous visits here for the Warriors and never been beaten at the venue, a trend he hopes can continue against Parramatta.
"I always had a good run against the Titans here but now it's my turn to represent the Titans and hopefully we'll get the win," Hurrell told NRL.com.
"I haven't touched base with anyone on social media at the moment but I'm pretty sure the [fans] are [excited to watch me play].
"When I wasn't playing they kept saying that they couldn't wait to watch me play again so now I'm back at this stadium."
There is a large population of people from Pacific Island backgrounds living in south-east Queensland and a character such as Hurrell has the potential to significantly bolster home attendances that are currently averaging a tick off 11,500.
The likes of Agnatius Paasi, Zeb Taia, Leivaha Pulu, Eddy Pettybourne and Nathaniel Peteru all share a Pacific Island heritage but even coach Neil Henry knows there is incredible drawing power in the club's most recent signing.
"There are quite a few New Zealanders living on the coast so hopefully we convert a couple of those and instead of being their second favourite team that we might become the favourite team," Henry said.
"He has a bit of a following and he needs to back it up. He's not getting carried away with last week but we saw a glimpse of what he can do with his touches so hopefully we see a little bit more here [on Saturday] afternoon."
Last Friday night against the Dragons Hurrell made 174 metres from 15 carries and along with a clean bust that led directly to Anthony Don's try in the 73rd minute he bowled Dragons defenders over with some customary charges, promoting squeals of delight from teammates such as Greg Bird and Ryan James.
"'Birdy' and 'Dark' (James) always want me to get a carry and it just feels good when the boys are excited when you get a carry," said Hurrell. "I try to get as many carries as I can to help out the forwards.
"I know that's my strength and if I train well then it will come in the game. This last couple of months I've just been getting my fitness up and that will come after.
"When I train well I play well so I'm just concentrating on getting my fitness up and then when it comes to game time I can do that again.
"I feel that the confidence is a bit high now. Obviously it's only my second game back and I played throughout the whole 80 minutes and managed to play well so leading into this game the confidence is there but there's still much more work to do."
But as devastating a runner of the football that he is, even Hurrell knows that there is a time for smarts over strength, and going opposite ferocious Eels competitor Manu Ma'u may be just that time.
Ma'u has been shifted from the back row to the centres again this week and given Hurrell cause to reconsider his plan of attack.
"I might use my footwork this week a little bit, just to beat him a little bit rather than trying to run straight over him," said the 24-year-old.
"He's a tough bugger. He's a good attacker as well with the leg drive on him.
"I'll try and do my homework on him and hopefully get up in his face and slow him down a little bit."
The Titans clash with the Eels on Saturday is the first in their Festival of Footy promotion where you can attend three home games against the Eels, Sharks and Warriors for the price of two. Click here for more information and to purchase your tickets.