NRL young guns endure contrasting nights

Dragons No.1 Tyrell Sloan had a return to NRL action he'd rather forget against Gold Coast.
Dragons No.1 Tyrell Sloan had a return to NRL action he'd rather forget against Gold Coast.

Saturday's NRL Magic Round encounter between Gold Coast and St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium was a tale of contrasting nights for the teams' two young fullbacks.

In the Titans' corner, flyweight Jayden Campbell had a game to remember in his first appearance since suffering a rib injury against Canberra in round three.

The 22-year-old ran for 261 metres, made 15 tackle breaks and had a hand in Jamayne Isaako's 89th-minute winning try in golden point as the Titans snapped a five-game losing run with a 20-16 victory.

"Brilliant, wasn't he?," a beaming Titans coach Justin Holbrook said.

"He was, I thought, the best player on the field by a long way to be honest in tough conditions for a guy that plays the way he does.

"He just looked at threat all night."

At the other end of the field, 19-year-old Tyrell Sloan was making his return after six weeks in the NSW Cup.

Sloan made 168 running metres but endured a difficult night in the face of the Titans' kicking game, often not even challenging for the ball.

The youngster also had four missed tackles and two errors, prompting coach Anthony Griffin to proclaim the Dragons had to help Sloan find his feet in first grade.

"He'll be alright. He'll learn from that and we'll help him," Griffin said.

"It's a big stage and their kicking game was really good.

"It's obviously part of his development but there are a lot of other things that happened in that game from some experienced guys as well that we should have sewn it up earlier."

Australian Associated Press