David Fusitu’a has more reasons than most players to look forward to an outing against Newcastle.
Just like Manu Vatuvei did throughout his record-breaking Vodafone Warriors career, Fusitu'a is also making a habit of feasting on the Knights.
While 'The Beast' had a fantastic return of 19 tries in 19 appearances against Newcastle from his overall tally of 152 in 226 games, 'Fus' is running even hotter at the moment.
Admittedly he's preparing for just his 53rd first-grade game today but it's owrth noting nine of his career total of 28 tries have come in his last three encounters with the Knights.
His first experience playing against Newcastle was in his rookie year in 2014, coinciding with Simon Mannering’s 200th appearance; Fusitu’a didn’t score but the Vodafone Warriors memorably marked Mannering’s milestone with a 38-18 victory at Mount Smart Stadium.
Move forward to the 23rd round of the 2014 campaign and Fusitu’a nabbed a double in a 22-28 loss in Newcastle.
He missed the early-season 40-18 win over the Knights in Auckland last year but was back in the side for the road trip in round 14, exploding with a four-try haul in a 50-14 triumph. And he continued his personal feast with a hat-trick in the Vodafone Warriors’ 2017 season-opening 26-22 win over Newcastle at home in March.
It sparked a run in which Fusitu’a snared eight tries in the first 10 matches this season, although he has since been out of the scoring action.
The long-striding wing-centre will be playing his 20th game of the season tomorrow, the only player in the squad who has appeared in every match this season. Indeed, it will be his 38th consecutive outing for the club since beginning his 2016 campaign in the seventh round.
The team’s leading try scorer, he brought up his 50-game milestone against Penrith last month in what has been his most intensive season since his debut in 2014.
Alternating between the centres and the wing, he has consistently gained well over 100 metres a game with a best of 287 metres against the Panthers in round 10. Overall he averages a fraction under 13 runs and 124 metres a game.