Pulu to repay Titans before departing
Dynamic forward Leivaha Pulu has vowed to repay the Titans for providing the opportunity to realise his NRL dream before leaving the club at the end of the season to return home to New Zealand and join the Warriors.
Rumours circulated early in the season that the Warriors were keen to extract Pulu from the final year of his contract on the Gold Coast and join the club in 2017 but the 27-year-old told NRL.com that such a proposal was never put in front of him personally.
The Warriors' interest hasn't waned though and an announcement regarding Pulu's signature could come as early as this week in what is reported to be a three-year deal.
Prior to joining the Titans for the 2016 season Pulu was combining football with the Wyong Roos in the NSW Cup with work in Sydney as a traffic signal operator and on the verge of walking away but has missed just two games since moving to the Gold Coast.
During the recent Representative Round he made his Test debut for Tonga in their enthralling win over Fiji and scored his third try of the season in last Saturday's incredible 38-36 win over Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium.
Pulu has not lived in New Zealand since he moved to the Gold Coast to attend Keebra Park High School as a teenager and from there linked with the Wests Tigers before the responsibilities of being a young father saw his professional rugby league dreams put temporarily on hold.
A father of two, a return to Auckland would also allow him to more regularly see his younger brother George who is currently incarcerated in a correctional facility on Auckland's north shore.
With a contract still yet to be registered Pulu was reluctant to talk too much about a move to the Warriors, only that he now has additional motivation to play out the remainder of the 2017 season with the Titans in strong fashion.
"At the moment I can't really say too much about it but it's likely," Pulu told NRL.com of the mooted move.
"Family-wise [it was a tough decision] but I give all my praise and my glory to the man above for blessing me with this opportunity at the Titans and my goal now for 2017 is to just contribute for the Titans.
"I'm still concentrating on my week-to-week job and still giving it my 100 per cent for the Titans.
"This club has given me a lot. I owe a lot to the club. They've given me my debut, they've taught me a lot.
"They've got a great coaching staff and playing with all the boys is awesome."
Pulu's value to the Titans has never been more evident than during the side's current three-game winning streak. Against Cronulla in Round 8 he came on and turned the game with a two-try performance, backed that up with 151 metres off the bench against a valiant Knights team in Round 9 and then against the Storm scored a try and ran for 122 metres in 56 minutes.
Against Melbourne the Titans were again reduced to just one fit player on the bench with some 15 minutes still to play but despite being eight points down late in the game showed resilience that is fast becoming their hallmark to fight back and continue their charge up the ladder.
"We've been blessed to have a good bunch of boys. Everyone is for each other and it's the brotherhood that's at the Titans that's so awesome to play for," Pulu said.
"With pre-season and all the hard work put into pre-season everyone just knows. Everyone knows that when there's an injury everyone has to turn it on and that's the competitiveness in the team.
"We knew that Melbourne were going to come in and grind away so we just had to come in and fix our little errors, tighten up in the middle.
"You could see in the first half we didn't really do too much of it but we started to come together and it worked out for us."