Hipgrave trying to chill a little with the Titans
It's rare to be a 21-year-old with just nine NRL appearances to your name yet a growing reputation as your team’s most aggressive enforcer.
As Gold Coast Titans forward Keegan Hipgrave approaches Saturday's clash with a fired-up Sydney Roosters on the Central Coast happy to be known as an aggressor, he also knows he has to "chill out" to provide his side with the best value as a starting back-rower.
Hipgrave was cited for a shoulder charge on Roosters skipper Jake Friend in his NRL debut in the last round of 2017 and was suspended for one match.
Second game back, against the Dragons in round three, he was suspended for a match again for "dangerous contact to the head and neck".
Yet his five appearances since, four off the bench and his first starting match last Saturday against Newcastle, has seen him less "bull of the gate" and more "controlled firepower".
And he'll need that touch of restraint again fronting an aggressive and powerful Roosters pack that will know more about him this time around.
"I just have to chill out," said the Gold Coast junior.
"We've spoken a lot about it and I've taken that on board from Garth [Brennan] and the coaching staff; just to cool down a little bit. It's something I have been working on. And I felt I did a fairly good job last week."
Yet he won't take a backward step, even if that means a collision course with Roosters hit-man Dylan Napa, who is in the spotlight after his head clash with Brisbane's Korbin Sims last weekend.
"I like his aggression; I like all players who have aggression," Hipgrave said of the big flame-haired Queensland prop.
"I'll do my own thing [if confronted one-on-one with Napa] but if we clash heads, we clash heads.
"I'll play my normal game, and hopefully I won't get suspended like the last time we played the Roosters.
"It's about finding the line and I think I found that earlier this year. Garth likes my aggression, and says don't change it, I just have to find the right line with it."
Titans' Kiwis international Kevin Proctor has taken Hipgrave under his wing and had an extended period with him last week, when Hipgrave had to fill Proctor's important left-edge back row position.
Hipgrave will switch to the left against the Roosters, with Ryan James returning to the front row and Proctor returning from a groin injury.
"I'm always looking to improve and I had Kevvie Proctor in my ear all last week helping me out, which he still is," said Hipgrave.
"His talk is really good and something that we need; he'll be right to play. He leads by his actions. He's a leader for us."