Roosters prop Sarah Togatuki didn’t eat or sleep for 36 hours as she turned to faith in a bid to play in Sunday’s NRLW grand final.
Togatuki endured an emotional rollercoaster start to her preparations for the decider with the Roosters prop forced to challenge a high tackle on Lavinia Gould at the NRL judiciary on Tuesday.
She received a downgrade verdict, much to her relief, and is ready to take full advantage of being available for her third NRLW grand final appearance.
“I don’t wish injury upon anyone, my big scare was hoping she was OK,” Togatuki told NRL.com.
“The two days itself was so stressful, I didn’t sleep at all. I kept watching the replays at different angles and tried to tell myself if I really guilty or could I get myself out of it.
“The first thing I did was reach out to Vin, I didn’t realise it was quite serious until it was brought to my attention.
“I’m a really big Christian so my family and myself got together, did our prayer and began to fast from the time I found out about the charge to when the verdict was given.
“We didn’t have anything to eat in certain periods. It was a terrifying experience.”
Togatuki broke down in tears when she was cleared to play the Dragons, thanking the panel before leaving to a host of cheers by her family and friends who were waiting outside NRL headquarters.
“When I walked outside everyone just stood there and were like little mouses waiting for me to react but I didn’t at first because the whole experience was still was still a shock to me,” she said.
“Everyone just ran straight to me and cheered. I was really grateful to those who showed, including some of my Roosters teammates. That to me is why I love this club so much. I felt them with me.”
Togatuki is hoping its third time lucky for a maiden NRLW trophy after being part of the Roosters’ two grand final defeats in 2018 and 2020.
“This is the first time I’ve worked for my team,” Togatuki said.
“I have so much respect for the past players but there’s something different about this team that Strangey [John Strange] has really got into the girls.
“I think just seeing every player take on their role week in week out. The first two rounds weren’t the prettiest but seeing the feedback and all the girls work harder, it made me work harder.”
Be front and centre as our Grand Final teams battle it out to lift the premiership trophy! Tickets start from just $15 for adults. Juniors aged 15yrs and under can enter FREE with a paying adult. Secure your seat at nrl.com/tickets.