Josh Papalii is resisting the urge to pick up the phone.
The cheeky jabs at his Parramatta Eels counterpart Junior Paulo can wait, at least for now. Because the Canberra Raiders front-rower has work to do.
Papalii says he has had a below-par start to the season. So you look at the numbers and naturally wonder just how much better the 28-year-old Raider can get.
Canberra's chief enforcer has run for an equal career-high average of 148 metres per game. He has bust through 12 tackles and is on track to dish out more offloads than he has in any individual season to date, sparking the Raiders' second phase play into action.
But Papalii insists he has room to improve and there is no better time to test himself than Saturday night's clash with Paulo and the Eels at Canberra Stadium.
Paulo has run for 119 metres per game this season, busting 13 tackles. Partner in crime Reagan Campbell-Gillard averages 141 metres per game to anchor an imposing forward pack.
Now former teammates and good friends Papalii and Paulo are on a collision course with both sides desperate to bounce back from last-start defeats.
"He has been a great player for a long time, he is probably the in-form front-rower at the moment in the comp," Papalii said.
"It's just a good stepping stone for myself to see where I'm at. I've started slow this season and that's something I didn't want to do.
"It is what it is, now I get to play against the best two props in the game so far in Junior and his partner in crime. We need to do well on Saturday.
I've started slow this season. Now I get to play against the best two props in the game so far in Junior [Paulo] and his partner in crime.Canberra Raiders prop Josh Papalii
"I think I need to get my hands on the ball more and try to get us on the front foot and set a foundation. There are glimpses of good carries and then bad carries, but I'm working on it."
Just like there were glimpses of good and bad in Canberra's loss to Penrith last week. There were touches of class from Jack Wighton to set them up, but then the visitors fell away with the loss of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to a head injury assessment a major blow.
So the Raiders will be hoping for more of the same from Wighton at five-eighth - the rest of the crew just need to hold that level of aggression. It may well start with Papalii setting the tone against his good mate Paulo.
"Jack getting the ball five metres out, 10 metres out, I'm backing him to score from anywhere. He's one of those players, when if he scores one, he can put two and three together," Papalii said.
"At the start of the game we were more aggressive, and it's not an excuse, but with main players going down it does play an effect.
"I'm not taking anything away from Penrith, they came out, stuck to their game plan and came away with the win."
NRL ROUND SIX
Saturday: Canberra Raiders v Parramatta Eels at Canberra Stadium 7.35pm.