Tyrone Peachey has admitted finding his role at his new club has been more difficult than he expected but club legend Preston Campbell wants him to be optimistic that his fortunes will turn.
Peachey’s unrivalled versatility makes him a coach’s conundrum as they wrestle with how to maximise his pure footballing talents within the structure of the team.
Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan targeted Peachey as his major off-season signing but has yet to extract the type of performances that propelled the 27-year-old to State of Origin honours in 2018.
In Friday's 26-10 loss to the Warriors, Peachey made just seven tackles at left centre and missed six, having missed five tackles in the 28-20 loss to the Rabbitohs in round three.
He is averaging 84.33 run metres per game – he has averaged more than 112m per game in each of his past four seasons – and has been unable to ignite a Titans attack that has been the least effective in the Telstra Premiership through four rounds.
Leading into their round-five clash with his former club Penrith at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night, the question will again be asked about where Peachey best fits into a team but according to Campbell, it is all about attitude.
Less than six months after being named Dally M Player of the Year, Campbell was shifted from halfback to hooker by new Sharks coach Chris Anderson at the start of the 2002 season and struggled to cope with the adjustment.
He told NRL.com that at that time he didn’t have the capacity to openly discuss his disappointment with Anderson and went into a downward mental spiral, leaving Cronulla at the end of the season to join the Panthers.
Five-eighth in Penrith’s 2003 premiership-winning side, Campbell was the first player signed when the latest Gold Coast franchise was granted entry into the Telstra Premiership in 2007 but was again forced into a positional switch.
By that stage in his career Campbell understood the value of his versatility and sees similar attributes in Peachey.
"When I came to the Titans I was thinking I was going to play five-eighth because I’d just had four years playing five-eighth at Penrith," he said.
"Then things happened and I got moved to fullback.
"My attitude was that the team needed me to play fullback so that’s what I had to do for the team and for the club.
"And I think that’s what Tyrone’s all about. He’s all about the club and that’s what we need. That’s what any club needs, a player who is more than open to fill the spot when it’s needed.
"As long as he approaches it with the right attitude I don’t really think it matters where Tyrone plays as long as he’s in the team somewhere. I haven’t had the chance to spend much time with Tyrone yet to get to know him personally but every time I’ve been at the club he’s got a smile on his face, which is a good sign.
"If he keeps smiling then you know he’s going to do the right thing by the team, no matter what number jersey he is wearing on his back."
Peachey said the transition into the Titans system had been more difficult than he anticipated with Brennan having to change the team around due to a mix of injuries and form.
It has further disrupted Peachey’s transition but according to James the team will benefit most if they persist with the mercurial talent in the centres.
"Peach just wants to come here and win," James said.
"You can tell how much it means to him when you do video sessions and he’s just super frustrated that things aren’t working.
"A lot of people have a lot of different opinions on him but I well and truly think he’s a centre. Peach is just a different type of centre. He can poke his head up wherever he wants at different stages of the game and he’s electric any time he is around the ball."