His coach Neil Henry told the media that Kane Elgey was being rested in order to overcome a hamstring complaint but the Titans five-eighth has admitted watching his team end a four-game losing streak in Round 8 with a win over the Sharks made him question whether he would get back into the side.
Making matters worse was that when Henry named the team to meet Newcastle a week later he retained the combination of Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts that had worked so well in 2016 and named Elgey on the interchange bench in No.14.
In the wake of the Titans' 38-8 win over the Knights in which he played 80 minutes at five-eighth, scored his sixth try – equal sixth in the NRL through nine rounds – kicked three goals and ran for 96 metres Elgey said that it had been a mentally difficult build-up.
"It was the plan all week but I was personally pretty nervous because obviously they got the win [without me]," Elgey told NRL.com.
"It was a tough week for me mentally but it's a good feeling now to get the win. Obviously the pressure was on me to play well and it was good to get the win.
"It was tough [to miss the Sharks game] but my hamstring was tight. The boys won and played good down there and I was fresh for this week so that was the good thing.
"I had to come out here and have an all right game and I thought I did."
Elgey's combination in the halves with Taylor is seen as the long-term partnership to turn the Titans into premiership contenders but while they were the one consistent in an injury-ravaged team for seven weeks, the chopping and changing both inside and out made cohesion hard to find.
Through the first 40 minutes against Newcastle and with Elgey getting used to having Jarryd Hayne outside him at left centre those combinations again seemed to be lacking but a 32-point second half saw the Titans go into the Representative Round bye on the back of two straight wins.
"If we all just work together, I don't mind where I'm playing. 'T' (Tyrone Roberts) doesn't mind either. As long as we're winning I'm just happy for the team," said Elgey.
"We had four dropped balls in good ball so it was just our ends to sets and in the second half we just played a bit more footy.
"The control was there it was just the execution I think. I thought we started all right, it was just some execution in kicks but the second half it all came together."
His harshest critic, Elgey is still very much building the confidence he displayed when he first came into the NRL in 2015 after missing all of 2016 with a serious knee injury.
With his tail up he has the potential to be one of the most dangerous running halves in the Telstra Premiership and Henry was all too aware of how important it was that he contribute in the manner in which he did against the Knights.
"It was good to see him back himself and score a try and have a couple of runs. Ash wasn't hitting the goal-kicking too well and he slotted a couple of nice goals," Henry said.
"It will be good for him and defensively I thought he was pretty good. He was in front and that's what he's working on.
"That's a real confidence-booster for him, to get out there and play 80 which was sort of the plan anyway."