Titans rookie prepared to get ‘bumped’
JAI Whitbread is realistic that he may again be a one-game wonder for now despite putting in a strong performance in Gold Coast's first win of the year against Penrith.
The 21-year-old prop earned a surprise second taste of NRL action when Shannon Boyd - who tips the scales 15kg heavier than him - was ruled out late due to a hamstring complaint.
Sporting the eye-catching socks of his South Tweed Bears junior club, Whitbread did not disappoint, making 23 tackles and running 74m in a busy stint off the bench.
"I loved every minute," Whitbread said.
"Obviously it's a big loss when you lose someone like that (Boyd) but yeah I just tried to do my best.
"I just tried to bring what I have been bringing to Burleigh, not change my game, and get involved and see what could happen. And just try to bring energy."
Whitbread has averaged 116 running metres through four Intrust Super Cup outings for the Bears this year, including an impressive 153m effort five days before facing the Panthers.
He could feasibly be back in Burleigh colours this week if Boyd is fit to reclaim his Titans spot.
"I know that I'm only young and there are a few experienced boys that are in front of me," Whitbread said.
"If I get bumped, then that happens - I have just got to take everything back to Burleigh and keep trying to play consistent footy."