While returning home is on his mind, combative loose forward Jazz Tevaga is adamant the Vodafone Warriors are intent on finishing their challenging 2020 NRL season on the highest note possible.
With their faint hopes of finals football put to rest last week, the Vodafone Warriors now have to negotiate Canberra today and Manly next week to complete their campaign.
“We've got to play for each other still,” he said ahead of today’s contest against the Raiders.
“And I think everyone's going to be playing hard, especially for Tommy (Ale). He's well deserving of a debut and I'm sure the boys will be raring to go for this one. Tommy's a great young kid who's always looking to learn.
“No team has been through what we've been through and I'm really proud of how the boys have held themselves. It's only going to make us stronger. I think we've turned a new leaf.
“We're a different team than we were at the start of the season. We have a lot of be proud of and there are some good signs looking forward to next year.”
Plagued by a variety of injuries, Tevaga (25) missed the opening two rounds of the season in March and then the first eight when the competition resumed in late May.
He hasn’t wasted time making up for his lack of football by living up to interim head coach Todd Payten’s assertion that “we’re definitely a better side when Jazz is playing.”
That’s been fully evident in the cocktail of passion, aggression and work ethic the battling Tevaga has brought to the side in the last 10 rounds.
His value shows through in numbers alone where he has averaged a career-high 136 metres a game in his 10 appearances.
In the last seven matches since and including the win over the Wests Tigers his total metres per game have read 168, 154, 104, 185, 163, 180 and 143.
On defence his last eight tackle counts have been 49, 42, 39, 43, 34, 26, 39 and 23.