Tuimavave's winning week
Coming off one of the best weeks of his life following the birth of son Noah and Newcastle's VB NSW Cup victory last Sunday, Knights five-eighth Carlos Tuimavave will head into the NRL State Championship clash with the Ipswich Jets full of confidence.
Given the opportunity to return to New Zealand to see the his first child born and consequently miss Newcastle's preliminary final win over the Mounties a fortnight ago, Tuimavave returned for the grand final and was an influential figure in their 20-10 victory over Wyong.
While it won't be his first visit to grand final day considering his 2010 and 2011 Holden Cup successes at the Warriors – winning the Jack Gibson Medal as Man of the Match in the former – Tuimavave will head into this game with the rare build-up under his belt.
"Noah was a big eye opener and I can't thank our coach Matt Lantry enough to give me the opportunity to miss last week's game to witness the birth of my son. To be able to come back for the grand final, I couldn't be more proud of the boys because it was a gutsy effort," Tuimavave told NRL.com following Newcastle's NSW Cup win.
"It's definitely a lot tougher than the 20s competition. I was fortunate enough to win the grand finals I did in the NYC but to play in the State Championship it's awesome. It's a lot more physical, a lot faster and a better type of game. It's going to go up another level next week."
[Playing on grand final day] means everything. This jersey has a lot of history in it, it's a proud club and to get the opportunity to run out with this bunch of boys in the NSW Cup grand final, and to win it, is even better.
"I can't thank everyone at the Knights enough for the opportunity to come here and play, and I'm leaving on good terms so who knows I might be back."
After almost two weeks of being a dad Tuimavave described what his new bub meant to him, though found a lone positive in returning to Newcastle and leaving his little family behind
"Noah's now the reason driving me throughout my career now and someone I'll be playing for. He's a special boy," Tuimavave said.
"But the one positive thing about coming back to Newcastle to train and prepare for the grand final was to get a good night sleep. I missed him a lot though."
His return to the Hunter will be a short one however as he prepares for life in the Super League – after signing a three-year contract with Hull FC back in July – where he'll play a key role in rebuilding the club alongside Frank Pritchard, Mahe Fonua and Sika Manu.
"I'm heading over to Hull with my little family and I can't wait to get over there and start a new journey. They're rebuilding at the moment and have a few old blokes with a couple of rookies coming through too," Tuimavave said.
"They have recruited well from the NRL with the likes of Frank, Sika, Mahe and me, and we're going to go over there and put our best foot forward for the team and hopefully improve. We just have to work hard and do what we have been doing in Australia."