Titans’ Tongan hit-man David Hala is letting the scales do his talking.
Pre-season at any rugby league club can be full of bold predictions and blue-sky hopes, however Hala is simply pointing to the number at his feet.
When he began training on the Gold Coast a few weeks ago it read ‘119kgs’. It is now at 112kgs, which is just two above where the powerful prop wants to be.
“I want to get to 110,” he says.
“I weighed in at 119 at the start of the pre-season, so the hard work is really paying off. I will be going just as hard after Christmas to get to my target.
“This is something I wanted to do – a personal goal. I play my best footy at that weight.”
Hala has come to the Titans after six years at the Brisbane Broncos. He showed flashes of brutal ability there, but the stats reveal he made just 37 First Grade appearances in that time.
A closer inspection tells why. Across those six seasons at least three were decimated by serious injury. In fact, in all his body has endured 10 operations.
Starting the 2015 pre-season clear of injury is a luxury for the big man and a major reason why his weight goal is within grasp.
“Yes, the running is paying off. It has been good,” he says.
“I am injury free and that is where I want to stay. I really want to play my best football in 2015 and get minutes in the NRL.”
Hala believes his ‘best football’ will be at the lighter weight. During his recent playing stints at Brisbane he weighed in at 115kgs.
“However at the 10-minute mark you start to feel the weight,” he says.
“That is why I want to come down in weight.”
Hala was snapped up by the Titans after they lost veteran prop Luke Bailey to retirement. There is also a perception that the Gold Coast lacked aggression up front. Hala brings plenty of that.
However he isn’t talking up his top grade chances - just putting in the work to earn the nod from coach Neil Henry.
“Obviously I would love to be in the (top) team for Round One,” he said.
“But if I am not, the aim is to play my best football for the Queensland Cup team that I will be playing for.
“The other aim is to stay injury free.”
Hala says he has settled in well on the Glitter Strip and has felt at home with his new squad,
“All the boys have been very welcoming,” he said.
“Pre-season is always tough, but the boys help each other get through the sessions.”