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Titans facing Campbell NRL conundrum

Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook has a problem – and it’s not how to snap the Titans’ seven-game NRL losing streak.

Holbrook knows he’s got a dilemma on his hands with just how to fit young gun Jayden Campbell into his side when the 22-year-old returns from the hamstring injury that’s kept him sidelined since the round 13 loss to North Queensland at the start of June.

In response to a 38-12 loss to Newcastle that Holbrook labelled “embarrassing”, the Titans coach made sweeping changes to his line-up for Saturday’s local derby against Brisbane.

The alterations didn’t end Gold Coast’s long wait for a win but it did bring about a much-improved performance as an undermanned Brisbane snatched a 16-12 victory with back-to-back tries erasing a six-point Titans’ advantage early in the second-half.

AJ Brimson, back at fullback in Campbell’s absence, was among the stand-out performers in the match, racking up 250 running metres.

The ex-Queensland State of Origin representative had started the year at five-eighth to allow Campbell to play fullback but has often looked at his most dangerous when wearing the No.1 jersey.

Tanah Boyd also made the most of his move to the No.6 jersey against the Broncos, scoring a try and linking well with halfback Toby Sexton.

It all adds up to a head-scratcher for Holbrook ahead of next Sunday’s trip to Sydney to face Canterbury.

“I’m hopeful that he’ll be cleared to be available next week,” Holbrook said of Campbell.

“We’ll have to get him in there somewhere.

“We all know AJ is a terrific fullback. We’ll have to weigh that up this week.”

Whether Campbell plays or not, Holbrook feels he’s hit upon a set-up which can not only put the Titans’ back in the winners’ circle but ease the pressure on the third-year coach amid a mid-season review which has already led to the departure of assistant Jim Dymock.

“We need to play like that, that’s for sure,” he said.

“We don’t want to be playing like we did the other week.

“I’m feeling okay. I feel we’ve got the right things in process … we’ve got everything in place, we’re just not getting the wins.

“We’ve just got to stick at it now.”

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