‘I thought you were taking the piss’
SIA Soliola has taken to social media to praise the efforts of a young surf lifesaver who helped rescue the Raiders hardman.
"Send your kids to Nippers. So heroes like this legend here, can save silly rocks like me. All smiles now. But if the water didn't kill me. My mum definitely will now," Soliola said in an Instagram post.
Canberra are in Queensland for a pre-season trial camp and were taking part in a mock competition against local nippers from the Sunshine Coast.
As reported by Channel Nine, things took a dramatic turn when Soliola lost his bearings in the water.
Even his own teammates didn't realise how serious the situation was.
"I thought you were taking the piss," teammate Michael Oldfield can be heard telling Soliola after he'd landed safely back on the sand.
But Soliola wasn't joking and admitted he quickly began to panic when he realised he was out of his depth.
"When everyone was gone and I didn't know how far I had, I just panicked as the buoy was too far back for me to go," a shaken but relived Soliola told Channel Nine.
"I was just waiting for all the kids to come and save me.
"That's what happens when you don't do Nippers ... I'm taking my son to Nippers now."
The Raiders are on the Sunshine Coast ahead of their first trial match for 2018 against the Bulldogs at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Saturday night.