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Cultural connection: Tonga trip has Fotuaika fired up for Dogs redemption

Moe Fotuaika has used the bye weekend to re-immerse himself in his family culture in a bid to help him prepare for a big clash against the Bulldogs this weekend in Multicultural Round.

Proud of his Tongan heritage - having played 11 games for the Mate Ma'a - the 24-year-old made the trip to the Pacific nation over the weekend to visit his family, having not seen his parents since the end of 2022 when he celebrated his 100th game in New Zealand.

In his first trip to Tonga, the Titans forward shared his experience and the gratitude he has taken away from the journey after describing it as an important eye-opener.

Fotuaika last saw his parents in 2022 when celebrating his 100th NRL game.
Fotuaika last saw his parents in 2022 when celebrating his 100th NRL game. ©Titans Media

"It was good to go back there and see them, and see Tonga as well. That was my first time ever going there," Fotuaika said.

"It’s crazy how they live there and it definitely makes you grateful for what you’ve got here… the simple things like clean water, things close by like food and stuff.

"It definitely made me grateful for what I had [back home], but I’m extremely proud of my culture and it’s good that I went back and experienced it for the first time.

"I’m just pretty keen to go out and represent my culture this weekend being Multicultural Round."

'We're hungry to go out and perform': Fotuaika

Identifying defence as a focus area heading into their clash in Sydney on Saturday, there is no shortage of desire for the Titans who were forced to watch on at the weekend instead of avenging their disappointing 28-4 loss in Round 1; which has stoked the fire in the belly for the squad to bounce back in a big way.

"We’ve always been hungry.., but you just get that different hunger when you’re coming off that loss as well as a bye," Fotuaika said.

"We're just itching to play footy now.

"All the boys are pretty keen and we’re just hungry to go out there and perform well."

With their opponents also yet to have their first win of the season, facing plenty of scrutiny from the media for their 0-2 start, Fotuaika is under no illusions they'll be easy beats, especially at their traditional home ground.

"I’m expecting a hard game… especially at Belmore," he said.

"They’re coming off losing their first two games, so they’ll be pretty keen to get their first win of the season, but we’re pretty keen as well.

"It’ll be a tough game."

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.