NRL rookie Jayden Campbell has provided a silver lining to the Gold Coast Titans 20-14 point loss to the Melbourne Storm.
The 21-year-old donned the Titans jersey for the first time overnight, following in the footsteps of his NRL legend father Preston Campbell who watched on proudly from the crowd.
The young gun put on a stellar performance for his debut, performing a try-saving “textbook tackle” on Melbourne’s Nicho Hynes that forced the Storm star to make an error.
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But speaking following the clash, Campbell admitted nerves almost got the better of him.
“They were ridiculous, I think I spewed about four or five times before the game,” he told Fox League.
“But Justin told me to back myself, he knows I’m a tough kid and he just wants me to be me.”
Campbell said making his NRL debut in Titans colours was a dream come true.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is play rugby league, and to represent the Titans, the same as my old man, it’s awesome,” he told Fox.
“It’s completely different to the levels I’ve played before. I said to myself before the game that I was going to try to stay away from big Nelson, I ran straight into him!”
Beautiful moment ❤️ pic.twitter.com/hUDskEes7i
— Fox League (@FOXNRL) June 5, 2021
Coach Justin Holbrook had nothing but praise for the number one.
“I thought he was great for his first game,” Holbrook told reporters post-match.
“It’s not an easy assignment, playing the Melbourne Storm in your first game, and he was terrific.
“He’s a tough kid, when he’s carrying the ball back everyone wants to smash him, there’s not much of him, but he doesn’t let it happen, and he makes his tackles,” Holbrook said.
“He understands the game well, he’s probably held back a little bit in what I want from him, he’s got more to give but that’s understandable being his first game.
“He’ll only get better and be a lot better for it.”
The Titans will now return home to Cbus stadium for their next two clashes against the Roosters and Sea Eagles.