Actions invariably speak louder than words for Sam Kasiano though even he realised one of the most hyped test debuts in New Zealand rugby league history was an unavoidable talking point despite keeping his head down in the Kiwis dressing room at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
The 22-year-old was finally isolated in his pod as protective teammates showered or wound down by cranking up their sound systems on Saturday night - so the bashful NRL prop of the year was finally coaxed into offering a personal perspective on his remarkable rise in 2012.
After Frank Pritchard, a confidante at club and now international level, and proud Mum Kalala gave Kasiano space to gather his thoughts, he dwelled briefly on a season that culminated with a Grand Final appearance and coveted test jumper.
"It's hard to believe how everything's worked out," he whispered.
"It was a great experience; I can't wait for next year. I'll just keep training, do some hard work and I'll come back bigger and better."
That would be some effort from the 1.96-metre, 130kg deceptively mobile front rower - judged best in the NRL for 2012 although the Kangaroos' bookends Matt Scott and James Tamou were statistically more prominent as Australia battled to an 18-10 victory in the season-ending trans-Tasman international.
Scott's 184m of go-forward almost doubled Kasiano's team high contribution for a Kiwi forward although in mitigation the Townsville-based prop was better conditioned to survive a balmy North Queensland evening.
Palmerston North-born Tamou's first half try was also a highlight -- or low point for the teammates he spurned - of a high quality clash that hung in the balance until Darius Boyd's decisive four-pointer nine minutes from the siren.
Despite the outcome it was a memorable occasion for Kasiano who belied his reputation among teammates as "borderline mute" by singing the national anthem and then producing a spirited rendition of the haka from the security of the back row.
Those pre-match rituals vindicated the Aucklander's pledge to stay loyal to the Kiwis and rebuff approaches from Queensland State of Origin legend and coach Mal Meninga.
"It's the best decision I've ever made," he said, without elaboration.
As usual, his teammates were also Kasiano's mouthpiece: Warriors front rower Ben Matulino - who was benched so the big Bulldog could start his first test echoed the praise expressed by coach Stephen Kearney and captain Benji Marshall.
"I thought he handed it well, it was like it was his 20th test,
"He got off a couple of offloads, made some gains up the middle, he's got a big future ahead of him. Sam's pretty quiet, one of the humblest guys I've ever met and he's fitted in really well," Matulino said.
Man of the match Scott was also complimentary of his adversary.
"He was pretty good in the opening exchanges. He's big and hard to handle, a pretty good footballer and he made a lot of yards through the middle."
- © Fairfax NZ News