Isaiah Papali'i won't forget the first day of 2019 in a hurry.
The young Warriors forward, who was anointed as the club's rookie of the year for the 2018 season, failed a breathalyser test as he was driving out of the Rhythm and Vines festival on New Year's Day.
The 20-year-old was just over the limit, but that was enough to incur a suspension from driving, while he was also stood down by the club for round one.
It was quite a contrast.
At the same time last year Papali'i was one of the Warriors' standouts in their historic 32-20 victory in Perth over the Rabbitohs, running for more than 100m, scoring the first try, making three tackle busts and contributing 24 tackles, in a performance that set the tone for his season.
This year he was sitting in the grandstand at Mt Smart, as almost 20,000 fans watched the impressive win over the Bulldogs.
"I've definitely learnt [from that]," said Papali'i. "It was gutting to watch the boys and know that I could have played. It made me really hungry, ready to prove a point to the boys. I have to get back in there and earn the respect from the boys after getting stood down."
After enjoying the annual Gisborne event with some friends, Papali'i was about to begin the long journey home on January 1st, when he was pulled over outside the gates.
"It was the next morning, driving out from the festival, and everyone was getting stopped by the checkpoint," said Papali'i. "I thought: 'I'm just going to get checked here, I think I am under but if I am over he will just ask me to swap with one of my passengers'.
"But I got processed, and then the demerit points I [already] had from speeding, [meant] I got a suspension from driving. I was just over, but not so much over that it caused me to go to court."
Papali'i informed the club immediately, who evoked the one game suspension to set an example amongst the group.
"It was pretty stink ahead of round one," said Papali'i. "But I had to accept it and learn from my mistake."
It was a shame for Papali'i, especially after his impressive personal and professional gains in 2018.
He was a revelation in his first full NRL season, averaging 28 tackles and more than 70 running metres each week.
But beyond the numbers, it was Papali'i's aptitude for the battle that most caught the eye, epitomised by his performance in last season's win over the Dragons at Kogarah, one of the most intense matches of the Warriors' campaign.
Those kind of displays earned him a place on the Kiwis tour of England, where he thrived in the environment.
"Far out — it was crazy," said Papali'i, who made his international debut in the third test win at Elland Road. "I loved being around all the boys, top class players. Watching them from the outside is cool but being in camp was something different. The level that they train at, no matter what day of the week it was, whether it was our first or our captain's run. They were 100 per cent focused and detailed in everything they did. That training mentality, that every second counts towards the game, is massive."
Papali'i then enjoyed a truncated, but productive, pre-season. At 1.82m, he has put on "two to three kilos", up to a playing weight of 109kg.
Papali'i has played most of his brief NRL career so far in the second row, but could be used in the middle in the next few weeks, especially with the absence of Sam Lisone (suspended).
"Anywhere, I don't mind," said Papali'i. "I've been training at both. Anywhere I am required I will step in."
Like the rest of the team, Papali'i is aware of the magnitude of the match on Saturday in Christchurch, a fortnight after the horrific terrorist attacks.
"It will be a big occasion, an opportunity to put some smiles on faces down there," said Papali'i. "Just being there is a big thing, though we are also focused on putting out a big performance."
Coach Stephen Kearney confirmed that Papali'i will see more action this week, after getting 25 minutes in the 34-6 loss to the Tigers last Sunday.
"I thought he went okay," said Kearney. "It was challenging to get a spot to get him on the field. I anticipate that he will get a lot more time this week."