Titans players celebrate a try against the Knights in Round 1.

Olive vows to back his ability

Nothing can really prepare you for an NRL debut but Titans recruit John Olive said the greatest lesson he took was a need to back his own ability.

Rushed into the Titans team last Sunday less than a week after relocating from the Rabbitohs, Olive had a strong carry in the Titans' first set of the game and then scored the game's opening try when a kick from flatmate Ashley Taylor fell fortuitously into his path on the left wing inside the first 15 minutes.

All told he made 54 metres from eight carries along with two tackle busts after taking a different approach into his second game in the NRL.

Olive made his debut for the Rabbitohs at 18 years of age in Round 14 last season but ahead of Sunday's clash with the Storm in Melbourne admitted that the occasion got the better of him.

"I think I went OK but I wish I could go back," Olive said of his NRL debut. "I'd probably just be a bit more confident in my ability and get more involved.

"That's what I tried to take into my first grade debut with the Titans last week.

"I just settled in real well with the boys and they've been real helpful in helping me with the calls.

"I guess that brings confidence to me and my game.

"I was very nervous but the boys made me feel welcome through the week and we got the win and put in a good performance."

 

Olive arrived on the Gold Coast last Monday a year earlier than originally expected, his move north motivated by a desire to secure a regular position in an NRL team.

Even the Endeavour Sports High product didn't imagine his first game for his new club would come soon with coach Neil Henry giving little away until later in the week.

"He told me I was playing Q Cup and then a day or two before the game he quietly told me that I was playing. I was shocked, just trying to get my mind around it," said Olive, who played alongside Brian Kelly for the New South Wales under-20s team last year.

"I signed [with the Titans] last year but I had one more year on my contract so I was just trying to focus on being a Bunny but luckily I got a release and now I'm just trying to focus on playing good for the Titans.

"I was just focusing on playing for the Rabbitohs but fortunately something came up and Souths and the Titans came to an agreement and I was happy enough to come up.

"A bit of a change and an opportunity as well to play first grade [was the reason for the move]. Because I'm at such a young age I'm just trying to get as much first grade under my belt as I can."

If William Zillman is cleared to return from a calf injury this weekend Olive could have to make way for David Mead on the left wing but it won't be the first time he has been overlooked for selection.

As a teenager Olive was cut from St George's under-16s Harold Matthews squad before being picked up by North Sydney, where he came to the attention of the coaching staff at South Sydney.

"I was just trying to make a team and unfortunately I didn't make it but I'm thankful for North Sydney Bears who picked me up," said the 2014 Australian Schoolboys representative.

"I repaid them by staying with them for three seasons and then lucky enough I got picked up by Souths from there."