Fifita remains polarising but highly effective
Andrew Fifita is the kind of polarising personality NRL fans either love or hate. On one hand, it's hard to ignore his chequered past.
It's quite easy to dismiss him as another bad boy - an obvious talent who is entitled and thoughtless. Many of his past issues have stemmed from compulsive behaviour or a lack of thought behind the message he is sending. Or so it seems from the outside.
The 28-year-old says exactly what's on his mind, and the way it can impact on his image is usually an afterthought. He is entirely unscripted, and it's one reason he divides opinion.
On the other hand, all of this is what makes him relatable and capable of a genuine apology when he gets things wrong.
He's aware he doesn't have all the answers and that he stuffs up sometimes. All humans do.
Fifita has spoken honestly and openly about his mental health struggles in the past and there is such power in hearing it from a 110kg front-rower who appears physically unbreakable.
What he is able to do on a football field is incredibly tough, but his voice is his true power. Whether he uses it positively is up to him.
Not for the first time Fifita has been forced to speak out against racial abuse aimed at him through an online troll this week. It happened before when aimed at his family.
As a proud father of three, he spoke out then too. He's not really concerned what anyone thinks about him, but standing up for his family, friends, team-mates and culture is non-negotiable.
In Big League this week, Fifita talks through the past few weeks and why he has been able to step up as Cronulla captain, even though he doesn't covet that kind of leadership.
Loyalty is important to him, so there was no way he was going to let his team down.
While missing Josh Dugan, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen and Luke Lewis through injury, fans would have forgiven Cronulla for stumbling through the past month.
However, this latest challenge appears to have Fifita fired up to deliver. The Sharks have now won their last four games and Fifita is leading the count for the Dally M Medal.
At the moment he's the best player in the competition - faults and all.