Sydney Roosters flyer Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has credited Kiwi teammate Frank Pritchard for transforming his pre-game routine and easing the pressure he placed on himself.
During New Zealand's World Cup campaign, the fleet-footed Tuivasa-Sheck admitted Pritchard opened his eyes to a new approach to the game that he believes has done wonders for him this season.
Jolly Roger: Tuivasa-Scheck celebrates a try against Parramatta. Photo: Getty Images
Pre-match last season, Tuivasa-Sheck would have been the one in the corner of the dressing-room minding his own business, listening to music and racking his brain over what was about to unfold in the next 80 minutes on the paddock.
But not any more.
"Going to my first international game, I had my headphones on and stressing out, looking out the window trying to think of how I'm going to do this," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"Not Frank. He's just with the boys, connected to the team and having a laugh. When the pressure starts to heat up, you can always look at him and what he's trying to do. He always keeps everyone calm, and tells us what we're going to do. He's so relaxed under pressure, which is something I admire. I wanted to be like that; I didn't want to go into my shell.
"So now I just cruise into the game and switch on when needed. Before I was trying to switch on from the moment I woke up, where now I just cruise, be relaxed and come in and say hi to people as I walk in. Before I would have my headphones on right from when I walked in.
''I always worried about stretching more or whether I needed to warm up a bit more, but I've realised sometimes it's better to connect with the players around me a bit more."
Tuivasa-Sheck described the Kiwi giant as a role model to the young players in the squad.
He insists he'll be doing his best to avoid coming into contact with the big-hitting Bulldogs back-rower, something he spent plenty of time trying to perfect at the World Cup given Pritchard's tendency to embarrass his teammate with his antics.
"Every time we jumped on the bus, Frank was always up the front on the mic," Tuivasa-Sheck said.
"He's always telling us stories and mucking around. He likes to punish people and get them up to sing songs – you have to try and stay on Frank's good side so he doesn't pull you up to the front.
"One time we were playing a card game and I was about to beat him, but he said if I won he'd bring me up to the front of the bus to sing a song. I won and he tried to get me up later but I was just hiding under my seat."
However Pritchard tells the story a bit differently.
"Even before my time with the Kiwis, we usually played cards on the bus and the loser had to get up and sing," Pritchard said.
"I said to him, 'If you want to play with the big dogs, this is what you have to do'. He learnt how to roll with the punches. It was good to see him get out of his comfort [zone] and sing at the front of the bus because he was a bit nervous playing in his first World Cup, representing his country.
"I just told him that it can't be any bigger than you guys winning the GF, you've played in front of big crowds. He had a few of the jitterbugs early on in the World Cup but I think after talking to him he settled down a bit."
While Tuivasa-Sheck doesn't want to run into a Pritchard shoulder on Friday night, the Bulldogs back-rower knows first hand just how devastating the Roosters speedster can be.
"You blink and you miss him, that's how good he is," Pritchard said.
"He steps off both feet and he is as fast as cheetah. If he makes a line break no one can catch him because he's away."