Pulu's headgear a show of faith
There is no talk of concussion or concealing of a head cut with Leivaha Pulu's decision to don the headgear in recent weeks, he merely doesn't want to cut the hair from which he is drawing strength in 2017.
Pulu became the unlikely hero for the Titans on Saturday night when he came off the bench to score the first double of his young NRL career as the Titans breathed life into their season with a 16-12 win over the Sharks in Cronulla.
The 27-year-old wore his long hair braided in Round 7 against the Broncos but after training in headgear in the build-up to the Sharks game wore it for the first time in a game situation on Saturday night.
It will be there again this Saturday afternoon when the Titans host the Knights at Cbus Super Stadium but the reason for wearing it is as simple as it is complex.
Worn to perform the simple task of keeping his hair out of his eyes, a deeply religious Pulu explained that his decision to grow his hair long came during his spiritual journey that he credits for finally achieving his dream of playing in the NRL.
"It's not a style thing. I'm a big believer in faith and there's a story in the Bible about Samson having his strength and his strength came from his hair and when he cut off his hair he lost all his strength and his wisdom," Pulu told NRL.com.
"Ever since I've been on my walk with God it's kind of inspired me to try and please Him in everything that I do.
"As you can see I've grown my hair and it means a lot to me. It's just to keep my hair out of my face.
"As long as I still have my hair I'll still have the headgear."
Prior to Saturday night Pulu had scored just one try in 30 NRL games and couldn't have timed his double any better as it broke a four-game losing streak for the Titans, prompting teammates such as Joe Greenwood to wonder about the power of the headgear.
"It's worked for him scoring two tries so I might have to purchase some headgear," Greenwood said.
"I used to wear it when I were really young but as I got older I felt too enclosed, feels like I've got blinkers on.
"It worked for Vaha so maybe I'll go back to it."
With big names such as Jarryd Hayne, Kevin Proctor and Nathan Peats all in the squad for the first time this season against Cronulla the Titans showed glimpses of the team many were predicting would play finals football at the start of the year.
The mood was decidedly happier at their recovery session on Monday and Pulu said that the challenge is to now carry that forward into the game against the Knights where they are desperate to arrest a home record of just one win from their past five games.
"It was something that we needed," Pulu said of their second win of the season.
"We've been close a couple of times so it was just good to get over the line.
"The confidence is up with the boys now but it's going to be another tough game.
"Newcastle are a tough team and go for 80 minutes so we've got to come in and stay consistent in what we do."