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Last pass heartbreak sparks Herbert's burning desire

Ninety-nine times out of 100, "that pass" comes off... but when it really mattered with the game on the line in the 79th minute, that one percent decided to rear its ugly head.

It's the moment of last year's heroic elimination final against the Roosters that Titans fans and rugby league pundits around the world still vividly remember... none more so than the man at the centre of that heartbreaking passage of play, Patrick Herbert.

"Nine times out of 10, you throw the pass, but I didn’t," the 41-game centre admitted, opening up about the dying seconds of the nail-biting clash that saw the Titans bow out of the 2021 finals series.

"There’s not much more I can say about it. I’ve copped it and I’ll cop it.

"I’m just really glad it happened to me and not to someone who can’t handle it."

'Everyone is hungry now' - Herbert

The 25-year-old, who is in his second year on the Gold Coast, has spent plenty of time reflecting on what could've been in Townsville last year, but also knows how much of a positive playing finals footy was for the playing group, who are now preparing for a big 2022 season ahead.

"Obviously, it was a pretty crucial mistake of the game. I could’ve thrown the pass," Herbert said.

"But even just to get there, that moment aside, it is a positive we can take out as a young group, because everyone is hungry now.

"It’s lit the fire in the belly, knowing that we can play finals."

Getting the opportunity to spend some down time with family and friends in the off-season has allowed the star back to reset and focus on life away from footy.

Herbert has returned to pre-season training hungry to make amends for last year's elimination final.
Herbert has returned to pre-season training hungry to make amends for last year's elimination final.

"It’s always good to get that break after such a long season. I spent it with my family," Herbert said.

"I’ve got two young boys, so I wanted to spend as much time with them before coming back. I went down to Wollongong and spent time with my in-laws.

"My partner’s family lives in Wollongong and my family lives in New Zealand, so it’s hard to find time to go and see both sides.

"Especially with COVID now, it’s impossible to go back home, but I make sure I stay in touch.

"Just being with my little family... when you spend so much time with them, you can see how much they grow and it’s very special."

Fit, firing and ready for 2022.
Fit, firing and ready for 2022.

Nearing the eve of the 2022 season, Herbert is hoping to be influential in the team's bid to build on last year's finals appearance. He's also hoping to continue to be an inspiration for his two children.

"My goal is to just do what I can for the team footy-wise," Herbert said.

"I want to go deep into the finals and make sure I throw that last pass I suppose. That’s always the goal to get the bread and butter at the end of the year.

"Off the field, I just want to be someone that my kids are proud of to call their dad.

"That’s the ultimate goal. I don’t know how I do that, but that’s my goal."

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