Looking back: Paasi the star of 2016 Nines
With today's release of the 2017 Auckland Nines draw, we look back at this year's results, where the Titans year of surprising their doubters began with a top-four finish.
One of the stories of this year's tournament was the two-day display of Agnatius Paasi.
Paasi was undoubtedly the weekend’s biggest surprise packet, spearheading his unfancied side all the way to the final four and rewarded with a spot in the Team of the Tournament.
Scoring tries, getting results from massive bombs and making breaks from kick-offs, Paasi showed his skillset is the full package at a time when the Gold Coast desperately needs to find some x-factor.
While his offload and his hitting ability are the first things that stand out in the big prop when you watch him play, it was his enormous motor — a trait even more valuable in Nines than in the 13-a-side game.
After signing a contract extension with the club last year that will keep him at the Titans until at least the end of 2018, the 25-year old went on to have one of his most impressive seasons to date; playing 25 matches, scoring five tries and averaging more than 105 running metres per match.
The Titans will be hoping Paasi will be fit and in similar form when they begin their 2017 Auckland Nines Tournament, drawn in the same pool as the Sharks, Panthers and Bulldogs for next year's tournament.