Kane Elgey has revealed how a soul-searching decision to go back to playing on instinct has turned his form around after enduring a ''tough week'' where detractors were both loud and numerous.
The Gold Coast Titans five-eighth started the round three clash with St George Illawarra by dropping the ball from the kick-off and it was all downhill from there in a 54-8 thumping.
A week later against the Brisbane Broncos he threw a superb cut-out pass to send Phillip Sami over in the opening minutes, set up another try in the second half and had his best game of the season in a 26-14 win.
The turnaround was due to a personal decision to play to his own strengths.
''It was a tough week with the social media side of things towards the club and towards me personally after that Dragons loss, but it is what it is and this is our job,'' Elgey told NRL.com.
''I was quite nervous before the game. I was stressing a lot. That first touch I had when we scored in the corner got me going again. It was the perfect start.
''I decided to play with instinct, which is what I've lacked over the last couple of years.''
Elgey had a breakout season in 2015 but an ACL injury ruled him out in 2016 and he spent last season battling to regain his confidence.
''Sometimes I do question myself after last year,'' Elgey said.
''The first two games this year I don't think I was too bad, but that first minute last week did it for me.
''I've just got to believe in myself. Round three we just didn't turn up but it is amazing what you can do in a week to turn it around.''
Elgey has a brilliant right-to-left pass that he can throw long and accurately under pressure.
Titans skipper Ryan James noted how Elgey had thrown a corker at training last week and knew his good mate would be on song against Brisbane.
Titans coach Garth Brennan also saw the pass.
''We did an opposed session during the week and [Elgey] came up with a beautiful cut-out pass and hit the winger, which is exactly what he did against Brisbane,'' Brennan said.
''I saw the pass and everyone went 'wow'.
''I gave Kane three jobs against the Broncos. I said 'I want you to make your one-on-one tackles, kick well and run the ball'. He did everything I asked and more and came up with some really nice passes and plays, which is his strength.''
Off-contract Elgey hopes the performance is a stepping stone to a big year and hopefully a new deal.
Brennan has put contract talks on the back-burner and told Elgey to concentrate on playing good football on a consistent basis.
The Titans coach never considered dropping Elgey after the Dragons thumping because it was the middle forwards that had let the side down and not the halves.
''He came out against the Broncos and was great but now he has to back it up against Daly Cherry-Evans and those sorts of players at Manly, and then back it up the next week against Penrith and James Maloney,'' Brennan said.
''It is on every week and Kane just needs to show me some consistency. I believe in the kid, otherwise I wouldn't have come out publicly and said 'you're my six. I'm not signing anyone else. It's your job to lose'.
''Even though he hasn't had the best start to the year I have still persisted with him and believe in him.''
Elgey said he was ready to repay that faith after a testing week.
"I know I've got to lot to work to do,'' he said.
''But to come out and get a win over the Brisbane Broncos, I am pretty proud after a hard week for me personally.''