Moe Fotuaika's week away from the NRL was a little different to the rest of the Titans squad.
Representing his family heritage Tonga in the Pacific Test match against New Zealand in Auckland, the 91-game prop experienced a sea of red as he ran out, raucously cheering the Mate Ma'a in the homecoming of rugby league to Aotearoa after a two and a half year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was definitely a good experience for myself. It was a fun week in camp and the atmosphere was so different and the crowd there was amazing," Fotuaika said.
"It definitely meant a lot. Both my parents are Tongan and just seeing all the crowd and how supportive they were.
"It just made me want to play hard."
'The entire week was a great experience' - Fotuaika
It's needless to say the whole week was an inspirational time away for the hard-working Titans forward, who soaked up every moment he had representing his heritage and being immersed with a number of NRL journeymen.
"The biggest thing I probably learnt was seeing how [the experienced players] prepared for a game and just being in and amongst them with how they train and what they get up to," Fotuaika said.
"It was good to be around those calibre of players and the entire week was just such a great experience."
Bringing the International experience back with him to the Gold Coast as they prepare to face the Knights in Newcastle, the 22-year-old is hoping to return with an air of confidence, given that was his biggest takeaway from marquee forwards such as Jason Taumalolo.
"I really took away the confidence being in amongst the players in the Tonga camp," Fotuaika said.
"Especially just how confident they are in their own skills and how they play. They just backed themselves when they got on the field.
"It's taught me to have confidence in myself and just play good footy."
The Titans hard man is hoping the extra shot of confidence will rub off on his teammates, especially in the bid to minimise the crucial mistakes that rue the good work across a majority of the rest of the game.
"We've just got to compete a lot harder. I feel like the last two weeks, we've been really testing the teams that we've been playing but just made a few errors at key times during the game," Fotuaika said.
"Hopefully we can fix that up and just keep working hard for one another and I'm sure we'll we'll come away with the two points."
And there is plenty of good news on the horizon with the return of David Fifita, bolstering the Titans forward pack ahead of the big clash against the Knights.
"Dave definitely adds a lot of confidence... that's just what kind of player he is and what he can do on the field, especially just some of the freakish things he can do," Fotuaika said.
"We are finding it hard to get a win but he can create something out of nothing.
"Hopefully he can pull up well after today's training session and be right to play for us on Friday night."