Ryan Simpkins could be bitter with the Gold Coast Titans — but it’s not his style.
A toiler on the paddock, the Titans’ inaugural Toyota Cup skipper is just as honest off it.
“I thought I probably deserved an opportunity with the Titans,” he said.
“And there were times I thought that opportunity might have been there.”
From the outside it could appear that Simpkins is filthy at a lack of opportunity.
He is anything but.
With his head held high Simpkins, who has earned comparisons to Cowboys workhorse Dallas Johnson, knuckled down to become one of the Queensland Cup’s shining lights.
On the brink of a breakthrough Queensland Cup premiership with the Tweed Heads Seagulls, it would be a fitting farewell for Simpkins who will take up a two-year deal with the Penrith Panthers next season.
“The Titans did come to me and I was in negotiations with them but the Panthers were looking and made an offer that was a better opportunity and a better deal,” said Simpkins, who along with Tweed teammate Josh Starling (Broncos) will chase an NRL dream next year.
Titans coach John Cartwright could not begrudge the 22-year-old’s decision to link with the club he called home in his playing days.
That sentiment was shared by Penrith Football commercial manager Phil Moss.
And with Trent Waterhouse (Warrington), Joseph Paulo (Eels), Petero Civoniceva (Broncos) and Matt Bell (Tigers) departing, it meant openings in the Panthers’ forward pack.