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Fifita on verge of joining four best try-scoring forwards in history

Titans powerhouse David Fifita needs one more try to join an incredibly elite group of try-scoring forwards.

Fifita scored his 14th try of the season against the Cowboys in round 21; he needs one more try in the next four weeks to become just the fifth forward in history to score 15 or more tries in a regular season.

The first player to do it was immortal Frank Burge for Glebe in the early days of premiership rugby league in this country.

Burge still owns the three biggest season try hauls ever for a forward with 24 in 1918, and 22 on two other occasions in 1915 and 1916.

Playing predominantly at lock as well as in the front row and second row, it took Burge just 14 games in each of those years to record some truly Bradman-esque numbers.

The only other forward ever to hit 15-plus tries at better than one per game was Rabbitohs legend Bob McCarthy, who scored 15 in back-to-back years in 1970 and 1971 from 12 and 13 games respectively.

In 1971 he also added two more tries in the finals to finish with 17 first-grade tries in 15 games.

By far the best try-scoring forward of the modern era is Manly legend Steve Menzies, who still sits in third on the all-time list with 180 tries.

David Fifita making a mess of the Dragons defence

Like Burge, Menzies has four separate 15-plus seasons including three straight from 1994 as well as 1998, with his best haul of 21 coming in 1995.

Of those 21, three came in games at centre, although if you take those games out he finished with 18 tries in 17 games in the back row.

The only other forward to do it was Ben Kennedy, who scored 15 tries in 18 games for Canberra in the 1997 Super League season, although if you include finals he also bagged 17 in 2001 including four through the finals series.

Easts forward Henry Pierce also scored 16 tries in 1940 but two of those came in the finals, with 14 tries coming in 14 regular season games.

Fifita's current haul of 14 is the best since Canterbury's Sonny Bill Williams and Penrith's Frank Pritchard each crossed 14 times in 2007.

The man himself was modest when asked about his try-scoring exploits this week.

"It's just my halves setting me up, they've given me good opportunities there and I just cross over the line, it's not much else," Fifita said.

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It's definitely a bit more than that, with Fifita boasting not just phenomenal strength that makes it near impossible for anyone to stop him one-on-one or even two-on-one close to the line.

He's also blessed with a remarkable turn of pace and handy footwork for such a big man that frequently sees him skip clear of defenders in space.

But with four round games left this year, Fifita has a chance to join some elite company with just one more four-pointer.

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