Roosters winger Daniel Tupou has remained optimistic after being overlooked for NSW and was grateful for the chance to recharge during last weekend's bye.
After playing all three matches for the Blues in last year's series, Tupou was unseated by Panthers dynamo Brian To'o, who scored a double and ran for 233 metres during Wednesday's 50-6 win.
Tupou didn't hear from Blues coach Brad Fittler to explain the selection decision but said it "wasn't a big deal at all".
Now, with the Roosters to face the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium, the quiet and respectful Tupou wants his "footy to do the talking".
"I felt like it was a great opportunity for me to rest up, but also to refresh and get the body ready for the next 13 or so weeks of footy," Tupou told NRL.com.
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"I felt refreshed after a week off and I felt like the body needed that. I came in on Monday and I sort of got rolling.
"I feel great. I'm preparing myself mentally and physically for Saturday arvo. That's my only priority at the moment, to prepare the best that I can and go out and play some good footy for the boys."
He may be a man of few words - in the media, at least - but Tupou is seen as a leader by fellow winger Matt Ikuvalu.
"Toops is like my big brother. We pretty much do everything together here. We go for lunch together, we sit next to each other in meetings and everything. He's been massive for me," Ikuvalu, 27, said.
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"He's only a couple of years older than me, but I've always looked up to him in the sense of him playing for Tongan, him being the winger there, and me being a young Tongan fella.
"I want to hopefully partner with him in the Tongan team one day."
With Brett Morris announcing his retirement on Monday, Tupou and Ikuvalu could occupy opposite flanks for the long-term.
"He's doing a great job. I don't like how I look like the older brother because that sort of makes me feel old, but he's an awesome person," Tupou said of Ikuvalu, who has scored 17 tries in 30 games.
As for the Gold Coast, who have run hot and cold this season, the Tricolours are preparing to face them at their best.
"A lot of teams just turn up against us ready to play," Ikuvalu said.
"We've just got to play our Roosters-style footy. It doesn't matter who it is or who's in front of us, we're going to play the same type of footy."