There have been plenty of memorable moments for Andrew Fifita during what has been a celebrated NRL career.
Certainly, a highlight was the premiership triumph, coming in a match where he scored the winning try and was judged by many to be the best player on the field in the Sharks victory over the Storm
.Add to that 10 games for NSW, seven Tests for Australia and 10 appearances on the international stage for Tonga, six times an Indigenous All-Star and 238 NRL games in total, and Fifita ranks with the all-time best players to have represented the Cronulla club.
And this week Fifita joins a special group when he becomes just the 10th player in Sharks history to play 200 top grade games in the black, white and blue, fittingly the milestone match coinciding with the NRL’s Indigenous Round.
After 39 games for the Wests Tigers, Fifita made the move to the Sharks ahead of the 2012 season, his Cronulla debut coming in round one in a match against his former club.
Fifita had an opportunity to depart the Sharks 2014, before re-signing and the big front rower has been here ever since, becoming an integral member of the team which claimed the 2016 NRL premiership. With the Grand Final on the line deep into the second half, Fifita’s try gave his team the lead, the Sharks then holding on to capture the Club’s maiden title.
It’s been quite the journey, with plenty of highs and a few lows along the way, a life-threatening throat injury last year amongst the challenges he has faced, however Fifita has returned from his scare last year with a spring in his step, revitalised under the coaching of Craig Fitzgibbon.
On Saturday night he joins an elite group of Sharks 200-gamers, Fifita more than worthy to be included amongst some illustrious names to have represented the Club in it’s 55-year history.
In the lead up to his milestone match, Fifita spoke to his former skipper Paul Gallen about his memories from his 10 years and 200 games at the Sharks, with the video now playing courtesy of Sharks media.