Peteru's vow to make every minute count
Every run that Nate Peteru takes in the NRL right now is important because his future depends on it.
Off-contract at the Titans at the end of this season, Peteru was promoted into the starting team last week in the absence of Jarrod Wallace and ripped in like those who have closely followed his progress hoped that he would.
Up against the twin Burgess towers up front Peteru had run for 53 metres inside 10 minutes, taking two and three runs each set as the Titans shot out to a 14-0 lead and brought an upset well within view.
His first stint - 18 minutes totalling 81 metres from nine carries along with an offload for the first try to Pat Politoni - was everything his coach could have hoped for but he knows that is his new barometer in order to earn a new contract.
The Titans haven't closed the door on keeping Peteru on in 2018 for what would be his fourth year at the club but the 25-year-old knows that the only way to guarantee his future in the Telstra Premiership is to treat each hit-up like it's his last.
"That's my mindset," Peteru told NRL.com.
"However many minutes I get, whether it's 15 or 50, just try and make as much of those minutes as I can.
"Since I've been back the last few weeks I feel like I've been building well and hopefully I can take that forward.
"It is hard when you're in and out of the team, trying to find your form. I lost my spot but I just kept working hard and plugging away and I feel like it's starting to pay off slowly for me.
"I really feel like I'm starting to get back into a bit of form and hopefully I can keep that going for the rest of the season.
"I'm really not too sure [what the future holds] at the moment.
"It's a bit different when you get injured so hopefully I can string some games together and get something done.
"I don't really have anything concrete yet, I've had a bit of interest but nothing concrete."
After playing in four of the first five games of the season, the Titans' injury curse hit Peteru and he was sidelined with an ankle injury, taking until Round 11 to force his way back into the team via the Intrust Super Cup.
With Wallace to come back in, providing he recovers sufficiently from his Origin debut on Wednesday night, Peteru has been named on an extended bench for Friday night's clash with the Wests Tigers, coach Neil Henry looking to tighten up the defence in the middle third.
"He could be in there but we've got Jarrod Wallace hopefully coming back and Patty Vaivai's edging him out a little bit at the moment on what he's doing and I've been liking what Max King has been doing on the field on a consistent basis," said Henry, who will take extra players down to Sydney following Thursday morning's captain's run.
If Peteru does have to drop back again to play with Burleigh in the Intrust Super Cup he says he will adopt the same attitude that he had earlier in the year in order to prove his worth to the Titans and anyone else who may be watching.
"It's hard sometimes to go back and play Q Cup for a couple of weeks, especially because I thought I had an all right start to the year," said Peteru, who has now played 15 NRL games across three seasons on the Gold Coast.
"But all you can do is try and play good footy when you go back and be ready for whenever Neil needs me to play."