Some conversations with his father Preston have kept Titans young gun Jayden Campbell on track with the mental side of first grade after he made a successful return to the NRL on Saturday.
Campbell was the difference for the Titans in their thrilling 20-16 win over the Dragons in golden point following two weeks in reserve grade getting back to full fitness from a rib injury.
The 22-year-old ran for a game-high 266 metres with 13 tackle busts and a line break, but more importantly he came up with the match-winning play late with his off-the-cuff play.
It was a delayed return to the NRL for Campbell with Titans coach Justin Holbrook opting to be patient with his fullback’s return despite calls from teammate AJ Brimson to bring him back.
Campbell agreed with Holbrook’s call but conceded the two weeks in reserve grade had him not wanting to return to that level any time soon.
“Going from first grade back to Q Cup, it wasn’t me being dropped in a way but it makes you miss first grade,” Campbell said.
Match Highlights: Titans v Dragons
“I wanted to make sure I was right for the boys and not coming in at 75-80% I wanted to make sure I was 100%.
“You never like seeing your mates struggle or get disappointed after a game. You feel for the boys so I’m happy to be back with them.”
Campbell said Preston, the former Titans foundation player, had kept his spirits up.
“He saw that I was a little bit down that I wasn’t in the team when they were struggling. He gave me advice to hold in there and keep training and I’ll be back soon,” Campbell said.
“It’s more the mental side he helps me with because he knows how down I can get. He’s really helpful for that side and I’m lucky to have him.”
Gold Coast will host the Sharks at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday as they look to climb up the ladder with the State of Origin period looming.
The Titans will remain in Queensland for the next month with three home games and an away clash against the Broncos.
“This next six weeks is going to be very important, we can use it to our advantage not having to travel and stay in south-east Queensland,” Campbell said.
“It’s really important to get a win and build some more momentum. We’ve only played two and a half games together [as a spine] and have won two out of three.
“I think we can take some confidence out of that. Every week isn’t going to be easy but we can take some confidence out of two from three and start to steer them around a little bit more.”