Zuriel refines his work off the field

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Swire Shipping Fijian Drua hooker Zuriel Togiatama runs onto the field with his teammates for the match against Moana Pasifika. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Changing habits off the field has been paying off lately for Swire Shipping Fijian Drua hooker Zuriel Togiatama.

Togiatama started in the 24-17 win against Moana Pasifika in round 10 of the Shop N Save Super Rugby Pacific.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to start. I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself in regards to the skill set that I have to offer for this team,” he said after the match.

He has been a work in progress, refining his skills on the field and maintaining a balanced lifestyle off it.

“Massive in terms of ensuring that I got the little things right off the field, things like my recovery including my sleep and what I eat through the week. With that I also make sure that I am enjoying my time away from rugby.

“Stepping away from rugby when it’s time to step away and when it comes to learning, I have to make sure that I’m present always,” he added.

Togiatama, who shares maternal links to Bua in Vanua Levu, had to be taken off the field in the second spell with his knee strapped with ice as he sat on the sideline.

He was replaced in the 43rd minute by veteran forward Mesake Dolokoto.

“Gutted to come off due to a little knock on my leg but I’m happy to know that the depth we had within our team, we are able to secure the win.”

Originally from Niue, the 25-year-old, who was part of the Flying Fijians Rugby World Cup squad last year, said the match wasn’t short of the physicality anticipated.

“I tried to get back up but my leg had other plans but than again I’m happy that we had the players to finish the job.

“It’s exciting to play against and with some of them (Moana Pasifika), we had a banter on the field going on but it’s always an opportunity to shapen each other, iron sharpens iron so, being able to play against the big boys is always fun,” Togiatama added.

The New Zealand-born player is excited for the remaining matches to come.

Meanwhile, the Drua will now prepare to take on the Brumbies at the GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday.

The Brumbies beat the Hurricanes 27-19 in round 10.

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