After missing last week's preliminary final for family reasons, five-eighth Carlos Tuimavave returned to Newcastle this week as the team edges closer to Sunday’s NSW Cup Grand Final against the Wyong Roos.
“I’m feeling pretty pumped and it’s good to be back around the boys,” Tuimavave said.
“There’s a good vibe and a good buzz among the boys.”
The reason for Tuimavave’s absence was the arrival of he and partner Susan’s first son, Noah, who was born on Friday night in New Zealand.
“It was pretty unreal. It’s something I will never forget. I’m blessed to have a healthy boy and Mum’s doing well as well,” Tuimavave added.
"I just want to thank (coach) Matt Lantry for giving me the opportunity to go home and not play last week so I could witness the birth of my son. I can’t thank him enough for that.
"I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, but he gave me the opportunity to go back.”
After returning to Newcastle on Wednesday, in time for the second final training session of the week, the attention moves to this weekend’s decider against the Roos.
"I just can’t wait, they are a physical team, especially being a feeder team for the Roosters and having players back from the NRL,” Tuimavave said.
"It’s going to be a big and physical game."
The last time the 23-year-old played in a grand final match was with the Under 20s Warriors.
"That was huge, we played before the NRL game. This week is going to be another level I reckon,” Tuimavave reflected.
"It will be a lot harder with the quality of players and the quality of football that’s going to be played, so I can’t wait.”
Despite the challenge that lies ahead at Pirtek Stadium this weekend, Tuimavave is feeling confident.
"We have a good group of boys here and I’m sure we’ll do the job on Sunday,” he said.
"I’m just going to enjoy the experience because this could be my last time playing in the Knights colours.
"I want to make the most of it, make it enjoyable and will do my best for the team.”
See the team train:
The NSW Cup Knights are training on Saturday from 9.30am at Wests Mayfield, the session is open for Members and fans to attend.
Gates open at Pirtek Stadium at 11.20am with the NSW Cup grand final kicking off at 4.15pm following the Sydney Shield and Ron Massey Cup. Adult tickets are just $10, with kids under 12 free. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets now.
Getting to the game:
Sid Fogg's is running a supporters bus to Pirtek Stadium. The bus departs from Hunter Stadium and will cost $40 per person return. Call 49281088 for more details.
For supporters catching the train South, trackwork between Wyong and Hornsby on Sunday will impact the train timetable. Please visit http://www.sydneytrains.info/ for more information.