The Gold Coast Titans lost a cliffhanging elimination final against the Sydney Roosters losing the contest 24-25. The game came down to the last play, in which an error caused the one-point Titan loss.
Arguably the best player on the ground was 21-year-old full-back Jayden Campbell.
Now the batten has been firmly pasted on to the young star, with a break-out performance under the finals blowtorch.
The rookie was a member of the Titans development squad before getting his chance in first grade. He showed an attacking presence that troubled opposition defences. He only played seven NRL games but has gotten over the try-line on five occasions this year.
His mixture of good kicking skills and lightning speed make him a great asset to the rebuilding Titans. His football IQ has been shown to be very high, often timing his kick return catches to perfection avoiding the risk of an error. 2022 looks to be his first shot starting the entirety of the season with the Queensland-based side.
Along with the emergence of father-son prospect Jayden Campbell, the rest of the Titans young core have been very impressive this year.
The standout young superstars have been their two edge back-rowers, Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita. Both are physical beasts that are just 21 years of age. They are both Queensland Origin players and are amongst the best forwards in the game.
Fifita makes over one million dollars per season at the Gold Coast, having signed a 3-year deal worth around $3.5 million a year. But he has lived up to this deal this season and has led the team in tries from his second-row position. His brutal ball running and giant-like size makes him one of the hardest men to stop in the game.
The two back-row bulls, along with the silky smooth Jayden Campbell, make the Titans a team full of promise. Now the goal is to put their obvious upside into practice and make a deep finals run next season.
The Gold Coast play with a schoolyard likeness and fear nothing, which will make them a formidable rival for years to come.