AAP Rugby

Manly’s Fonua-Blake adjusts NRL attitude

By AAP Newswire

Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake admits he's been held back at times by his own laziness and lackadaisical attitude.

But after experiencing a lightbulb moment during last year's Rugby League World Cup, he felt the time was ripe to fulfil his undoubted potential.

In a year when scandals have been an almost weekly occurrence on the northern beaches, the 118kg enforcer has been one of the club's shining lights.

He has started all 21 of Manly's games this year - no mean feat considering he had only been in the run-on side on five occasions in his previous two seasons at the club.

His improvement was there for all to see in Saturday's win over Canterbury as he bulldozed 138m and crossed for what proved to be the match-sealing try.

"Fitness was a big thing at the start, I was one of those players that just went through the motions," Fonua-Blake said when asked about his marked improvement this year.

"The pre-season just gone, I made it a goal of mine to push myself as hard as I can. You can only get better and reap the rewards you put in."

Fonua-Blake's story is a common one - while blessed with size, strength and ability, he did not know just how good he could be.

He admits to at times taking the easy option and selling himself short on the training paddock.

"I was just a kid," he said.

"I was a young guy coming into one of my first pre-seasons and I had that mentality that when I was tired, just look for the easy way out.

"Everyone has that mentality to start with. It took me a while to flick the switch and turn a corner and say 'I really want to do NRL as a job'."

Asked what turned around his attitude, he said making last year's Tongan World Cup squad and being surrounded by the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita convinced him that he was good enough and inspired him to get the best out of himself.

"It was just after I made that World Cup squad and the previous year I made the Tongan squad," he said.

"I thought to myself 'I can really do something here if I put my mind to it'."