The emergence of Jayden Campbell will force AJ Brimson to shift to five-eighth in a new-look Gold Coast Titans side for the 2022 NRL season.
South Sydney’s premiership credentials were put into serious question in losing to an under strength Titans outfit in Sydney.
One positive was Luke Keary’s return. He put in a good performance for an inexperienced player out of NRL action all season. With Keary returning from the NSW Cup after a long injury lay off, it would be easy to point the finger at him for the loss. But that would not be giving the TItans enough credit.
The Titans showed the same grit and determination they already showed on a number of occasions early on in the season.
The South Sydney team certainly didn’t suffer from any lack of playmaking prowess. Adam Reynolds played brilliantly on one leg while Keary certainly did his part by creating opportunities. He even capitalised on some lose ball to get his first try in 2014.
Numerous errors from Souths big men made things a lot harder than it needed to be. It was a rusty performance from centres Dylan Walker and Kirisome Auva’a and that may have been the difference for the Rabbits.
Souths’ back three Nathan Merrit, Alex Johnstone and Lote Tuqiri handled themselves well, despite recent criticism. Newly signed half Daniel Mortimer has been a fantastic addition to the Titans playmaking stocks, where a serious lack of depth threatened to leave them without hope this season.
It’s hard to see how a player of such quality has remained on the bench for so long. Surely, there aren’t 32 better half-backs or five-eighths running around the NRL each week?
Albert Kelly’s return from injury made an immediate impact, with a beautiful inside ball to create a four pointer for the Titans.
If Kelly and Mortimer can form a combination quickly, the return of the Titans’ Origin stars should make the Titans a force to be reckoned with in the run home.
As for Souths, their season is still on track but they will need to bounce back soon to silence the doubters.