The Warriors’ dramatic win over the Cowboys last week had plenty of great storylines to it, but one that flew under the radar for some was that of Warrior No.260 Ed Kosi.
Kosi only found out two hours before kickoff he would be making his NRL debut, after coach Nathan Brown gave him the call-up for injured wing David Fusitu’a.
What made the 22-year-old’s moment that much more special though was the whirlwind journey that brought him to it, with Kosi working at an Auckland warehouse less than one year ago.
"Last year I was working with my younger brothers on night shifts," Kosi told NRL.com, beaming after a tense 24-20 defeat of North Queensland.
"We were all working at a courier's warehouse in Auckland, just packing boxes and mail all night.
"I'd work 9pm to 6 in the morning, it was a pretty full-on work schedule.
"I'd have my local games on a Saturday so I'd take Friday night off to try and get my body clock right.
"I was on about $19 an hour and I was grateful for that."
In between then and his debut, Kosi had plenty to overcome though, including a challenge issued by Brown on day one of the pre-season.
"Last year I was playing in the local Fox Memorial [competition] and I was overweight. I was 110 kilos and I looked like a prop.
"Browny pulled me in on the first day of pre-season last November. I was overweight and he was pretty blunt – 'if you want to play first grade you need to lose the weight'.
"It's crazy to think where I was at last year. I was wondering if I'd ever play first grade. To fast forward to now, I'm down to 103 kilos and with that game and that win, I'm so grateful."
Kosi said finding out he was making his debut mere hours before the match helped with nerves although the same couldn’t be said for emotions – especially after a call back to his parents in New Zealand.
"They'd just finished church and mum was just crying when I told her. I Facetimed mum and my old man, they couldn't believe it either and just wished me well.”
When it came time to earn his pay though, Kosi delivered a decent debut which included a moment where came off his wing to a make a big tackle which resulted in a turnover and plenty of jubilation from his teammates.
"The boys just reminded me that I was there to do my job."
With that advice taken on board, Kosi won't have to worry about his old job any time soon.