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'Primed to go': Ese'ese motivated to improve on 2021

It can be said Herman Ese'ese's 2021 season wasn't his greatest, but the powerhouse forward has turned the page and is looking fit and firing as he aspires to get back to being at his best.

Only playing three games in Titans colours, the Samoan International candidly admits his first year on the Gold Coast was far from ideal, hence why he has returned from the break with a healthy body and mind, inspired to get back playing regular first grade in his eighth NRL campaign.

"The season that just went wasn’t really my best and I didn’t get much game time. That was kind of the motivation for me," the 27-year-old said.

"That’s why the first day of pre-season, I just wanted to put my best foot forward and earn that spot.

"I’ve just tried to work hard this pre-season and get my body right and I feel like I’ve done that."

‘I’m pretty happy with how I’m going’ – Ese’ese

Dropping nine kilograms over the break, the rejuvenated prop has been seen around Parkwood with a spring in his step since returning, looking in good shape to adapt to the increased speed the game is played these days with the new six-again rule.

"Just the way the game’s going, I thought I needed to strip a few more kilos off and get used to the game speed," Ese'ese said.

"I definitely [have increased in] both speed and power and am moving across the park a lot more easier.

"I also feeling lighter on my feet and not breathing as heavy.

"It’s been a good pre-season and I’m pretty happy with how I’m going, but I’m still wanting to work hard on areas that I still need to improve on."

Having the frank conversation with Justin Holbrook at the end of last year about how he could break back into the top 17 this season, the Titans head coach wanted the 96-gamer to focus on getting his body right before returning.

Now back looking at his best, Ese'ese has been rewarded with an opportunity to impress in the first trial match against the Broncos.

"I think he just wanted me to get my body right and just get fit before we got into the pre-season. They were the main two things," Ese'ese said.

"I’m primed to go and feeling fit and healthy and ready to go for this weekend."

With premiership-winning enforcer Isaac Liu joining the club from the Roosters this season, Ese'ese has been motivated by the fierce rivalry for positions among the middle thirds, spurring each other one to be better each day.

"There’s good, healthy competition in the forward pack and to bring someone like Isaac Liu who has won premierships and played International footy, it’s good for the team," Ese'ese said.

"We’re all helping each other and making each other better.

"I’ve just been trying to do my best and put my best foot forward."

As one of the more experienced hard men in the line-up for Macca's local derby, Ese'ese will be sure to keep a watchful eye on young Klese Haas who is facing off against older brother Payne... although the powerful prop is backing his teammate in the brotherly battle.

"It’s always good to watch brothers go at it," Ese'ese said.

"A bit of brotherly love, but I’m backing young Haas."


Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.