I was close to being a Dragon: Maumalo
Had it not been for a change of plans at the 11th hour last year, Ken Maumalo would likely be running out onto UOW Jubilee Oval with a different club emblem across his chest this Sunday.
The giant winger had all but finalised a mid-season move to the St George Illawarra Dragons in May last year, before the Warriors blocked it and instead re-signed Maumalo through until the end of 2018.
Ahead of lining up for the Kiwi club on the left wing against the Dragons in Round 4 of the NRL Telstra Premiership, Maumalo reflected on how different things could have been.
"It was pretty close, my manager was sorting it out and I was about to leave the week before [playing for the Dragons] but then got told to stay," Maumalo told NRL.com.
"Yeah [I was close to being a Dragon] but I am happy I am here with the boys now, it will be funny running out against them, I have a couple of mates in the Dragons as well.
"It all worked out smoothly and I was happy to stay here for another two years and be here with family and friends."
Now entering his third season as an NRL player, the 191cm Maumalo has become a first-choice winger for new Warriors coach Stephen Kearney, playing both on the left and right side of the field.
While he has worked hard coming out of yardage, averaging 16 runs per match and 140 metres, Maumalo's game has also been dogged by sloppy mistakes so far in 2017.
His five handling errors in the opening three games of the season are the equal-most in the competition, placing him alongside Eels winger Semi Radradra in the dreaded category.
But Maumalo said despite his side's attacking woes, which have seen them score only 22 points in their last two games, it was their work on the other side of the ball which was most concerning.
The Warriors are yet to hold a team to less than 22 points this year, while they are developing a trend of struggling in second halves, conceding 14 points in the back end of all three of their matches so far.
"We just gave up soft tries against the Bulldogs, we had most of the possession and yet they came back to claw it back to 50 per cent," Maumalo said.
"The difference was they took their opportunities when they were down our end.
"The boys are working hard, there's no doubt about that, we just need to finish games off stronger and we will obviously be looking to do that this week."