It’s not the chance to win through to the NRL grand final that is most exciting Sydney Roosters wrecking ball Sio Siua Taukeiaho this weekend.
But the rare chance to see the smiling face of his son in the crowd.
For the Kiwi battering ram, Friday’s qualifying final showdown with Brisbane will hold special significance with his 17-month-old son Leyton in the Suncorp Stadium stands.
While many have tried and failed to halt the momentum of the man nicknamed ‘TKO’ this year, he stops dead in his tracks and reveals his softer side when conversation turns to his son.
“I’m pumped and I’m always excited to go see my son,” Taukeiaho told AAP.
“I haven’t seen him in a while but every time I get an opportunity to go see him, I try to get up there.”
While Leyton is glued to the TV every Roosters game to catch a glimpse of his dad, chances to see him level opponents in the flesh are all too rare.
Leyton lives with his mother in Brisbane and Taukeiaho opines that chances to hold his pride and joy in his arms have been too few over the last few years.
“He doesn’t get to see me play live very often,” Taukeiaho said.
“He gets to see me on TV and all.
“I’m happy we’re heading to Brisbane this week so I can get him to come watch me and hopefully we win.”
Taukeiaho reveals that Leyton has been the motivation behind his resolve to make good on his final chance to crack the NRL this year.
After being cut by the Warriors in 2013, he spent last year in NSW Cup with the Newtown Jets but his season failed to reach any great heights because of knee and hand injuries.
He entered this season in the last chance saloon. With his contract up at the end of 2015, he entered pre-season determined to stake a claim for a permanent first grade spot.
First he had to overcome a crisis of confidence but with the help of coach Trent Robinson began to believe that he belonged in first grade.
Now he is a regular starter for the minor premiers and in April re-signed for another two years.
“It was my last chance,” he said.
“It was my last year here at the Roosters and I just needed to give it my all.
“During the pre-season I went all out and didn’t leave anything in the tank.
“Then I had a meeting with Trent Robinson and he told me I was selected in the round one team.”