Joseph Tapine might never have a more monumental month in his life than he had this October.
At the start of the month, he was lining up for the Canberra Raiders in his first NRL Grand Final. A week later, he was married to his wife Kirsten. Just days after saying "I do" he was in camp with the Kiwis ahead of their end of year tests.
While he ticked off a number of milestones in his young life within weeks of each other, the 25-year-old is yet to reflect on just how big a month he had.
"It's been pretty hectic. I only got the one night after my wedding with my wife," Tapine told the Herald. "It's just been moving. When we get back, I think I have a week off then it's more weddings, so it's going to be a bit hectic after the tour as well."
Tapine will line up at lock for the Kiwis' final test of the year when they take on Great Britain in Christchurch today, an opportunity he and Kirsten planned their wedding around.
Knowing when the Kiwis had games scheduled, the couple planned their wedding around Tapine's work commitments; first, in case the Raiders made the Grand Final, and secondly, in case he was named in the representative side. It was a smart play, with both scenarios eventuating.
The Grand Final was a new experience for the young Kiwi, who confirmed everything people said about it being more than just another game was absolutely correct; there's more emotion and the teams play that much harder to be the last one standing.
While the Raiders lost in heartbreaking fashion, having his wedding to look forward to the weekend afterward helped him deal with what was an emotional loss.
"Losing was a bit of a down buzz," Tapine said. "The wedding brought me back up and made me more level headed with my emotions. I was a bit down all week, but having all the family and friends around celebrating our special day, it just made the month a bit better."
With Kirsten "100 per cent" behind him and his career, Tapine linked up with the Kiwis for the World Cup 9s before travelling to New Zealand for the end of year tests. While he's been away from home for four weeks, he said any plans of a honeymoon were being made for a date well in the future, with surgery likely on his agenda after the test series.
Tapine has been playing with a hole in his eardrum. He got it checked by a specialist a couple of weeks before the Grand Final and was told it would be fine provided he didn't get it too wet. But as far as off-season injury concerns went, he was relieved.
"It's not that bad really; I just have a hole in my eardrum that's a bit too big so I have to get a little surgery just to repair it so I'm not going to be bad in the future. It's not a serious thing like a shoulder or something.
"It's not bad when I'm playing or anything like that.
"The honeymoon…we've just put it on hold until probably the off season next year, then I have to treat her to a big holiday for waiting so long."