Looking back on the remarkable year that was, NSWRL.com.au counts down the 10 biggest stories from the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership NSW season. At No.10, a shock demotion for an established representative winger.
Few people expected to see David Nofoaluma's name on the Western Suburbs Magpies' team sheet in Round 1 of the 2018 Intrust Super Premiership NSW season.
A noted try-scorer and adored by his peers, Nofoaluma's relegation from the Wests Tigers' top 17 had the club on notice. Then with 87 games of NRL experience, NRL mentor Ivan Cleary made an example out of the winger: Train hard, or face the consequences.
No one was safe.
It was a harsh, but fair, approach to the new campaign, and one that saw the club reap the rewards in both the NRL, and the ISP.
"It's a rich foundation club with plenty of history, for me being a local junior and representing the Magpies coming through the ranks, it's always nice to put on the colours again," Nofoaluma told NSWRL.com.au of his Intrust Super Premiership NSW outings.
"One positive thing I can take out of [playing in the Intrust Super Premiership NSW] is that the Wests Tigers have a good side, with plenty of depth there.
"It's not like I've been dropped back and the [NRL] guys aren't doing well, it's a sign that everyone's putting in their best – that can only be a good thing for the club on a whole."
Playing well, the Tigers were – four wins and just one loss inside the NRL's first five rounds.
"Winning is a big thing, and it quickly becomes a habit. A few of the boys here and there have touched on it, how Ivan's made every training drill one that you want to be on the right side of," Nofoaluma said of the club's impressive start to 2018.
"If we lose, we suffer the consequences by doing 'penalties'. It builds that winning culture, you can see it already. It's heading in the right direction as you can see, at both levels here at the club."
Nofoaluma returned to the NRL in Round 6, and would remain in first grade until the year's end.