Titans enforcer David Fifita concedes he needs to find a way to involve himself more in the game after a quieter start to the 2022 season in comparison to his incredible run of form early last year.
Fifita has produced solid numbers to start the season, albeit down on tries scored after five rounds last year, but ultimately the Titans’ 2-3 start has left the 22-year-old in the firing line given his pay packet at the club.
The Maroons representative said he was out to prove people wrong after radio host Scott Sattler suggested he should be benched.
“It’s up to him, he can say whatever he wants to say, nothing in it,” Fifita said.
“For him to say those words I’ll take it on the chin and prove him wrong. I’ve just got to adjust for myself to get smart ball and go looking for the ball. I just do my best out there.
“Sometimes, I guess every game is hard in the NRL and everyone gets targeted in the game.
“I think I’m getting my runs in games but obviously I just need to keep working hard and be better each week.”
Sea Eagles v Titans
Fifita has been working alongside young half Toby Sexton to start the season in an infant combination that is expected to improve with more games played.
“The longer we’re out there together the better we’re going to be in the future,” Fifita said.
“A bit of both, combinations including myself to demand the ball or get involved more.”
Titans teammate Jaimin Jolliffe said any criticism towards Fifita was harsh.
“Dave's obviously a big name and he's a great footballer, and there's a level of expectation,” he said.
“He's a great player, and there's no doubt about that. He’s been really strong, but I suppose because everyone knows who he is and what he's capable of, there's that expectation.
“He does a great job for our team. He scored a great try on the weekend that kind of got us back in the game and he's working really hard at training.
“To be honest, I don't think Dave would look at that sort of outside noise. I think it's a bit harsh, to be honest.
“As a team, we need to help Dave as well. If we're playing good football and we're completing well, Dave's playing his best football.
“When we have 36 percent possession in the first half and Dave's doing 30 something odd tackles a game, it’s going to limit the impact. It swings both ways.
“When we all play better as a team, he plays a lot better, so I think we can all just keep working harder for him.”
Fifita and the Titans face no tougher test than the Sea Eagles at 4 Pines Park on Saturday after the opposition piled on 92 points in two big wins over Justin Holbrook’s side last season.