Tala Mailei's former principal can still remember the first time he met the "strapping young man" who "created sunshine wherever he went".
The 17-year-old "rising star" was found dead in Christchurch on Sunday.
Mailei had been training with the Warriors' wider under-20 squad since last month after impressing coaching staff at the club's annual open NYC trial in Auckland in October.
He was home for the Christmas break and was due to resume training with the squad in the new year.
Ryan Hoffman says he's been able to learn from two of the best in the business when he takes over the captaincy of the Warriors.
The 32-year-old back rower will take over leading the Warriors after Saturday's trial game against the Dragons in Nelson and after spending so much of his career under Cameron Smith at the Storm, followed by last season under Simon Mannering, he says he knows what it takes to be great in the job.
"The best thing with Cameron and having him as leader is that he leads by example in what he does and that's exactly the same attribute Simon has," Hoffman said.
The bolded is especially true.It should be that smiling face, looking up to a TV camera and blowing a kiss to his mum in Tonga after scoring a try, that Konrad Hurrell is remembered by.
But what had been on the cards for so long finally eventuated on Wednesday with the Warriors agreeing to release him from his contract.
Of course, there were numerous off field indiscretions during his time with the club, mostly revolving around social media. And while people are always quick to castigate him, it's worth remembering that his slip-ups were always on the dumb, rather than dodgy side.
I think we can still lose and have a chance. It'll be the manner in which we lose which will dictate whether we make finals footy for the first time since 2011. If the players give up like they did against the Storm we dont stand a chance.agreed... get a win in Sydney should be on the way..lose this and its back to the pack