Preston's advice for rising star Ash Taylor
"Talent will get you there, it's your character that will keep you there."
That's the advice from one Titans legend to another on the rise after Ashley Taylor further stamped his credentials as a bona fide superstar in the making with a match-winning field goal against the Rabbitohs in Perth on Sunday.
With his team having given up an 18-point lead against a surging Rabbitohs outfit Taylor's first career field goal punctuated a starring role that included a crucial try just before half-time, a timely 40/20 kick early in the second half and an inch-perfect cross-field kick that led to Josh Hoffman's try two minutes from full-time.
An off-season pick-up from the Broncos who granted Taylor's wish to seek an NRL opportunity elsewhere, the Titans intended to blood the 20-year-old gradually into first grade before a season-ending knee injury to Kane Elgey in January fast-tracked his elevation.
Coach Neil Henry called for caution when he starred in their Round 12 win over the Panthers and former Titan Preston Campbell says his continued rise will now be predicated on those people he has around him.
"I was here with Clinton Toopi last year for the Pacific Tests and I saw him playing for the Junior Kangaroos against New Zealand and I saw him do a couple of things and I thought, 'Geez, who's this bloke?'" Campbell told NRL.com of his early impressions of Taylor.
"Obviously he's made it now and coming from the Broncos he would have learned a lot from being up there and he's got a great opportunity now.
"My old man always said to me that if you've got talent that will get you there but it's your character that will keep you there.
"He's obviously got the talent and he seems like a genuine young bloke, I just hope that he gets the right support around him but he's going to get there. It's just about how long he's going to hang around for."
A highly-regarded prospect ever since he was signed by the Broncos to a scholarship at just 13 years of age, repeated shoulder injuries threatened to delay Taylor's elevation into the top grade.
He joked earlier this year when asked about which part of his body was hurting the most from stepping up to the NRL – "Everything!" – and veteran forward Greg Bird has no doubt that the fortunes of this Titans team in 2016 are tied to the performances of their young halfback.
"It will give him some confidence in his own game and what he can do for the team," Bird said of Taylor's 87th-minute match-winner.
"Ever since he came to the club I think everyone could see [his talent]. The improvement that he's made, week in and week out he's getting better and better and the more he can get the ball in his hands and take the line on the more confidence it will give him.
"If he plays with confidence the team can play with confidence."
The starting forward pack for the Titans on Sunday boasted more than 1,000 games of NRL experience and for a rookie in just his 12th senior game Bird admitted that Taylor is becoming more and comfortable telling the veterans what to do.
"What you want as a forward is your half to take control and be dominant and as a young halfback coming into the side that can be quite daunting," Bird told NRL.com.
"He didn't know most of the players [at the start of the season], we do have quite a few senior forwards and he probably didn't have the confidence to over-call on the run.
"But in good teams the halfbacks have to do that and as he gets more confident he starts to over-call the team then lifts and it's only going to snowball into him improving and hopefully us winning games."