Cronulla winger Sione Katoa needs no reminding of Jai Arrow’s prowess as a place-kicker.
The Sharks were hosting the Titans in round two and had surged to a 20-0 lead when Katoa made a mess of Arrow's kick-off after a Cronulla try.
Arrow sent the NRL into a spin with his 290 run metres in the loss, but his greatest source of pride after the game was the kick-off Katoa couldn’t handle.
Since that game Arrow has become the Titans’ most reliable kick-off merchant – taking the mantle from noted kickers in the team such as Ash Taylor, Tyrone Roberts and Michael Gordon.
He gets another crack at Katoa when the Titans and Sharks kick off Magic Round on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.
With Taylor and Roberts both injured at the time and Tyrone Peachey in the sin-bin for a kick-off that sailed over the dead-ball line on the full, Titans assistant coach and one of the NRL’s all-time leading point scorers Luke Burt held an impromptu kick-off contest.
Arrow had one chance to impress Burt or become a laughing stock. His attempt surprised everyone and suddenly the Titans had a new place-kicker.
“We got stuck because Tyrone and Ash weren’t training when we were doing an opposed session,” Burt told NRL.com.
“We were just mucking around because we had no one else but he stuck one on the tee and he nailed it.
“I told him that if he could repeat that he’d be worth looking at on a permanent basis.”
A half who did some kicking from under 10s through to under 14s, Arrow’s kicking experience consisted of little more than some halfhearted attempts with his nephew Riley at a local park.
He thought that gave him enough grounding to put his hand up for the open trial.
He got the job and, like all forwards, is revelling in his new role as the club’s premier kick-off exponent.
“We were trying to sort out who was going to kick off and I put my hand up,” Arrow said.
“They gave me the tee, I got one chance and absolutely nailed it.
“The first time I kicked off was against Cronulla. I did a few good ones so I got the gig for the rest of the year.
“Obviously I’m enjoying it because I don’t have to sprint down there and make that tackle that no one wants to make off the kick-off.”
Twelfth on the all-time point-scoring list with 1,793 points, Burt paid credit to Arrow for putting in the work on a play that can have a major influence on momentum in a game when done well.
“It was a joke. I didn’t think he could do it at first but he’ll come and warm up with the kickers and practise so he’s committed to the job,” Burt explained.
“It’s probably a small job to most people but it is a big thing. If you can get some hang-time on those kick-offs and get good field position on play one it’s a big play.
“To his credit he does practise quite a bit and been nailing them for us. The hang time they get is incredible.
“With the ball laying like that on that tee you have to practise. You can’t just rock up and think it’s going to happen.
“It’s quite easy to miscue them. If you get under them too much they end up landing on the 20 rather than the try-line.
“I’d love for him to be in the defensive line but as long as he gets down there for play two to rip into them that’s all that matters.”