Titans' Hoffman thrives on confidence
Josh Hoffman said his starring role in the Titans' 32-12 win over the Dragons was another step in the right direction after being told recently he was free to head elsewhere despite being contracted to the end of 2017.
Hoffman, who played his 150th NRL Telstra Premiership game on Friday night, along with veteran Titans trio Luke Douglas, David Mead and co-captain Will Zillman were all told by coach Neil Henry in recent weeks their services were probably best utilised at another club.
The dreaded tap on the shoulder hasn't bothered the 28-year-old Hoffman however, who is in just his second season at the Titans.
Against the Dragons on Friday night, the New Zealand international recorded a try assist, six tackle breaks and a whopping 182 metres to help the Titans leapfrog the Red V into the top eight of the Telstra Premiership.
"I know that I have this year and next year up my sleeve, and there's a lot of footy to be played, so for myself I'm really concentrating on playing well. Hopefully if the doors open up for me again with the Titans, I'll be happy to stay here," Hoffman told NRL.com.
"It's become home. There's a bunch of boys at the club who have really become great friends. We have a really tight bunch there now so after next year we'll see what happens."
Regardless, Hoffman said Henry has put any conjecture over his future to the side and offered him a 'license to thrill' at the Titans.
Hoffman's return to the centres against the Dragons came after a fortnight spent in the all-familiar fullback role.
"Neil has had the confidence in me to play my own style of game which is what I want to do," Hoffman said.
"The early ball from Tyrone Roberts in the inside really helps me out a lot so overall it's been really good lately. Just being able to have that confidence and that certainty in the centres has really helped me out a lot."
With three consecutive games at Cbus Super Stadium to come, Hoffman's Titans won't have a better opportunity this season to consolidate a place in the top eight.
Games against the Eels, Sharks and the Warriors could set the Titans' run to the finals up in a big way as they continue to defy the odds set out for them over the off-season.
"During the pre-season pretty much everyone wrote us off. We didn't let that get to our mind so much, we just wanted to focus on the team and what we wanted to do for the season," said Hoffman, who has surprisingly played just one finals game in his career.
"We're concentrating on being the best and most consistent team in the competition. The business end is near so we want to really knuckle down and make it into the finals."