As little as three years ago, there were still some doubts about Ken Maumalo.
It's hard to believe now — as he has developed into one of the most effective wingers in the NRL, reminiscent of a Sherman tank with a sidestep — but they were there.
He was anointed as the heir apparent to Manu Vatuvei, but some doubted he was the real deal.
His try scoring ability was questioned, as well as his defensive nous and he could occasionally wobble under the high ball.
Even in the 2017 season, when his form kept Vatuvei out of the team and prompted his early release, not everyone was sure Maumalo could escape the immense shadow of the "Beast".
How wrong they were. Maumalo's development has been stunning, and he is now one of the most valuable players in the competition.
"He's done really well in terms of his development as an NRL player over the last 24, 30 months," said Warriors coach Stephen Kearney. "He's got better and better and what I really admire is that he wants to continue to improve."
Maumalo's become a superb finisher, capable of acrobatics that defy his 1.91m, 111kg frame; he's second in the NRL try scoring charts with 12, and is steady and sure under the bombs that come his way.
He's also a yardage demon; in a sport where metres and momentum are so vital, few are more effective than Maumalo, who returns for the Warriors on Saturday after missing last week's win over Cronulla due to concussion.
He is third in the competition for most runs (310) and second for metres gained (3008).
He has smashed out 1008 post contact metres, well ahead of the next best and the 24-year-old also has 16 line breaks, the second highest in the NRL.
"He has been massive for the team," said Warriors front rower Agnatius Paasi. "It's like having another prop. For us middles, to see him come back to the 40 or halfway is so good. When he is running it back I always smile."
Despite his feats, Maumalo remains a humble, homely guy. If he was Sydney-based he would be grabbing headlines, but his achievements here have come through hard work and a calm determination.
Taking over on the left flank from the club's greatest ever winger wasn't easy, but Maumalo always had an end goal.
"When I first started out everyone was calling me the 'mini-beast'," said Maumalo.
"I didn't want to live off someone's name; I wanted to make my own name and my family name proud. I wanted to be known as Ken Maumalo, not the mini-beast, to make my own legacy."
Quietly spoken, Maumalo takes a level headed approach to both bouquets and brickbats.
"It's funny that people are coming out now saying 'he is the beast' and whatever, but I don't take those comments into consideration, because they were probably the same people that were bagging me three years ago," said Maumalo. "If people are saying good things I don't know what it feels like. I don't really read the comments. I've stayed fully off that."
After thriving on the Kiwis' trip to England last year, Maumalo was focused on avoiding a post-tour slump.
"Often the people that come back from tours start slow," said Maumalo. "I just had a different mindset coming into this pre-season. I wanted to dig into training and hit the ground running."
It's worked, from round one when he ran for 199 metres and showed good agility at high speed to touch down against the Bulldogs.
He hasn't stopped scoring since; after managing one try every five games before this season (14 in 64 matches), he has crossed 12 times in 16 games in 2019, for a Vatuvei-esque strike rate of .75.
"It's different because I don't really score many tries," said Maumalo. "I am just really grateful to finish off all the boys' hard work in the middle. I'm happy because I've never experienced this before but it's a credit to the way we are playing."
Maumalo also paid tribute to Peta Hiku and his deft handling, which has contributed plenty of opportunities.
"I'm just glad I have got him on my side," said Maumalo. "He has pretty much put my tries on a plate for me."
The duo have combined well this season and will need to produce more of the same on Saturday at Bankwest Stadium.
The Warriors have only won six of 19 clashes with Parramatta on Australian soil, and the Eels have been impressive at their new home in 2019, dropping only one match of six.