Rookie Toby Sexton will not only have the pressure of being a key feature in the Gold Coast Titans' new-look spine, but the halfback will also be kicking goals for the team in 2022.
Taking over the duties from departed halfback Jamal Fogarty, who finished fourth in the league in total field goals with a 77 per cent success rate, Sexton will be tasked with one of the most underrated roles in rugby league.
Fogarty's efforts in 2021 were commendable, but many of the goal-kickers in the competition that kicked at the volume in which he did were around 80 per cent or higher.
This included Manly's Rueben Garrick (81 per cent with 121 makes), Rabbitohs Adam Reynolds (79 per cent with 118 makes), and Penrith's Nathan Cleary (85 per cent with 94 makes).
That is to say, Sexton will need to improve on Fogarty's success to find the uprights if the Titans want to have any chance of succeeding.
Speaking with Titans media, Sexton has opened up about this new role, indicating that he's relishing the opportunity to take over as the full-time goal kicker.
"In the under 7s and 8s back in the day, we used to go through the numbers… so No. 1 would kick first, then No. 2 would have the second kick and I couldn’t wait for my turn to kick the footy and it just become a habit afterwards," Sexton said.
"I used to always love going down to the park and kicking footballs and I used to put all these situations in my head.
"Like it’s 16-16 and this kick is to win the game. It’s something I’ve loved ever since.
"I was no good as a kid. I always had a big strike but I was never accurate, but I guess practice over time has really helped out and I love doing the goal-kicking."
This practice seems to have paid off for Sexton as he went 16 for 20 in his first four games for the Titans in 2021.
Sexton also kicked 91 per cent off the tee as the primary goal-kicker for Tweed in the Hostplus Cup.
Sexton highlighted some of his inspirations growing up and how they contributed to his development as a goal-kicker, including one of the all-time greats Johnathan Thurston.
Much like Thurston, 21-year-old Sexton is heralded for his calm head and routine both at the tee and in preparation for the game.
The young halfback also gave some insight into who could potentially pick up the duties should he be unable to kick.
"Patty Herbert is obviously a pretty quality goal-kicker, but Jayden Campbell is doing a lot of practice at the moment on his goal kicks. I think he’s a very handy replacement," Sexton said.