The confidence gained from his run in Gold Coast's NRL team enabled Jamal Fogarty to steer the Titans to a gutsy victory over the Warriors on Friday.
With halves partner Ash Taylor sidelined due to a head knock, Fogarty stood up in the dying minutes of the 16-12 win at CBUS Super Stadium.
The 26-year-old's 75th minute grubber enabled second-gamer Beau Fermor to score the try which put the home team ahead.
Then a 40-20 crucially gave the Titans field possession and the ball to see out the match.
It was two big plays from a player who has had to work harder than most to get a proper shot at first grade.
"It's been quite a journey to be honest," Fogarty said.
"I think I've signed here three times over my career so far but to be in the first grade team weekly I'm definitely getting more confident.
"Most importantly, my players ... they're telling me I need to step up and need to take control which is good to hear from my peers.
"If we can just keep building on little combinations we're going to get better throughout the year."
Fogarty, a Titans junior, debuted for the club in 2017 but made just two appearances before finding himself out of the NRL.
A Queensland Cup grand final win with Burleigh last year got him back on the Titans' radar and coach Justin Holbrook has played him in every game since the competition resumption in May.
His adjustment to life as a regular first-grader means he knows a potential head-to-head battle with Melbourne's Cameron Smith on the Sunshine Coast next Friday isn't a time to be in awe of the Storm legend.
"I'm definitely gonna be playing against him wherever he plays in the halves or dummy half," Fogarty said.
"When I run out and see him probably lining up off the kickoff, I'll go, it's pretty cool but I've got to understand that I'm in that position now to be playing first grade.
"I've got to put those little moments to the side and just get on with the job."
Australian Associated Press