Preparation key to unlocking Peteru's potential
Retired Titans hooker Nathan Friend believes that if giant forward Nathaniel Peteru can get his preparation right and body in peak condition that he will emerge as a major force for the Titans in 2017.
Injuries kept Peteru to just three games for the Titans in 2016 but the club is on the verge of securing his services again for next season by recently tabling an offer to remain on the Gold Coast after he joined the club midway through 2015.
At 196 centimetres and 115 kilograms Peteru is one of the more physically imposing players on the Titans roster but has struggled to string more than three games together in succession since joining the Titans.
The 24-year-old was one of Burleigh's better performers in their 54-12 loss to the Illawarra Cutters in the Intrust Super Championship last Sunday and has an ability to offload in traffic as well as making major dents in the opposition defensive line.
Peteru was a part of the Warriors system for each of the four years that Friend played in New Zealand and the veteran of 242 games who was renowned for the way he prepared his body for battle is adamant that some slight dietary adjustments will bring out his best.
"Getting a handy off-season under his belt will strengthen him mentally as well as physically but he just needs to consume the right foods," Friend told NRL.com.
"He's based here on the Coast now so he's not travelling up and back to Brisbane and you probably saw his performances get better not travelling every day.
"If you feed the engine right and train hard then your body will find its proper playing weight.
"If he sits at 110 and he's fit and healthy and playing well then so be it, you can't put a marker on people.
"He's a machine. He probably doesn't realise his size and strength.
"At training when he carries the ball and he's got four and five guys hanging off him and they still can't put him down. He just needs to be able to show that size and strength that he possesses under fatigue.
"His carries are his go-to, he just needs to work on that effort on effort with the ball and his carries and he'll add to the Titans that's for sure.
"Being a big guy in a contact sport it's hard to say he'll get the 26 rounds out but if he can prepare well, eat right, you never know."
Peteru revealed that he had approached Friend during the season about the foods he should be eating and says he is more aware now of what he has to do in order to play NRL on a regular basis next season.
"Obviously bigger guys like me need to watch the diet a bit more and stay away from the carbs and the bad food," Peteru said.
"When I was at the Warriors with 'Friendy' he was always on to me about eating healthy and he's helped me out a lot with my diet this year.
"I had a big pre-season last year but by the time I got to the game my body was gone.
"I think it's more about being smart. You can't be 115 kilos and running around so I've just got to be a bit more smart about that.
"So I'm looking forward to this pre-season and getting the body right."