It was the moment that forever changed the life of Newcastle Knights hard-man Pauli Pauli.
Involved in an unfortunate car crash earlier this year – one that very nearly ended in disaster – the towering Knights forward says things have been put into perspective after a tough start to the year off the field.
“Life’s changed for me a lot, I’m happy with where I am now, since the accident I’ve just been trying to savour every day, and enjoy my footy,” Pauli tells NSWRL.com.au
“Before the accident, I didn’t enjoy going to training, I’d eat too much. I had put a lot of weight on. Every morning at training seemed a chore.
“I’d only enjoy turning up to the game on the weekend, not putting in the hard work during the week. This year after the crash, it’s put my life into perspective.”
Enduring months of a gruelling recovery process and time away from the field, the 22-year-old now bears a smile that reflects an inherent change of mind.
The bangs and bruises picked up on the field seen only as minor knocks, the ‘pain’ of a loss nothing more than a passing blow.
It’s a shift mindset that runs deep within the Knights squad, and one that has been reflected in their on-field efforts this season.
“Win or lose, every week we enjoy our football,” he says.
“Coming from last year, we didn’t win many games, but this year a few little things have changed. We’re all training hard, working hard, and that’s showing.
“Life is too short, so why waste it? If you’ve got a gift, you must use it to the best of your ability. That’s how I’m treating my footy now, that’s how the boys see it too.”
Pauli will line-up for the Newcastle Knights in their Intrust Super Premiership NSW clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in Cessnock on Saturday.