Why Hurrell is heart and soul of Titans
Twelve months ago he was a Warriors discard with a reputation of being more fun-loving than hard-working but such has been Konrad Hurrell's influence since joining the Titans that teammates now describe him as the "heart and soul" of the team.
A serial prankster with a perennial broad smile and bouffant of hair to give the holder of the Guinness Book of World Records' largest male afro a run for his money, it's easy to see Hurrell as little more than comic relief but his wholehearted performances throughout 2017 have earned him widespread respect within the playing group.
In a team that is second last for metres made Hurrell is punching out an average of 152 metres per game, trails only prop Jarrod Wallace for average number of carries per game and leads the team for tries scored with eight.
But more than planting four-pointers before blowing a kiss to his mum, it is power-packed charges from deep within the Titans' half to get his team on the front foot that his teammates most appreciate.
"I get to play outside him so I'm probably a bit biased but I think he's the heart and soul of our team," said winger Anthony Don.
"He provides so much punch with his carries and his energy is so good, it takes at least four people to tackle him each time.
"You know what you're going to get with Koni week in and week out and he's proved to be one of our best players this year.
"He's always laughing and always smiling and gets on with everyone in the team. He's a joy to play with."
With the team struggling to put wins together in bunches this season Hurrell's infectious nature and high-pitched squeal of a laugh is the perfect stress relief, his propensity for pulling pranks catching out plenty of his teammates during the course of the season.
"No matter how down we get he's always happy," says five-eighth Tyrone Roberts.
"He doesn't take too much in. He just keeps us happy, makes us humble and when he's down when he's not playing good we know.
"I heard him say something on the radio that he'd let his mum down and that's the kind of person he is. He doesn't like to let the boys down. When he's smiling we know he's going to have a big game."
The incident Roberts is referring to was Hurrell's angry outburst against the referees in the Round 15 clash with the Rabbitohs where he disputed a lost ball in the ruck, shot out of the defensive line that gave Souths the space in which to score and then further remonstrated with the match officials.
It was an uncharacteristic display of anger and once which earned a stronger rebuke from his mother than it did coach Neil Henry.
"Neil was more professional, Mum was a bit more over-the-top, family grilling," recalls Hurrell.
"I gave her a call and said, 'Hi, how are you?' and straight into it; 'What happened to you? You're face wasn't that nice!' So I Iearned from it and just got to move on."
It was a rare moment when his boundless passion got the better of him but given it is the essence of who he is it's not something that anyone wants to limit.
He is the king of the kids, and has become extremely active in the Gold Coast community working with junior clubs and disadvantaged kids and is the Titan every fan wants a photo with.
He signed a two-year contract extension before the 2017 season kicked off and says every game that he gets to play for the Titans is a blessing he won't ever take for granted.
"For me to play bad or not do my job I get a bit angry about it because the opportunity is there and I'm not taking it," Hurrell said.
"Playing alongside these boys is a dream come true and I don't take any opportunity for granted.
"I'm blessed to be a part of the team and one part of me loving the game is playing with the heroes I look up to and getting amongst them and taking every opportunity."