Campbell has teen's energy: Laffranchi - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Campbell has teen's energy: Laffranchi

By Daniel Pace 27/05/2008 06:46:00 PM Comments (0)

NSW Origin forward Anthony Laffranchi reckons his Gold Coast teammate Preston Campbell is blessed with the energy and enthusiasm of a teenager.

Just 11 days shy of his 31st birthday, electrifying fullback Campbell is enjoying career-best form for the Titans, who share the competition lead with Sydney Roosters and Melbourne.

Campbell was outstanding in a losing side against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday as he dazzled the crowd with a magnificent solo try that brought the Titans back into the contest.

In another piece of brilliance, he scooped up the ball one-handed on the fly in the in-goal to get the Titans out of trouble on a kick return and also saved a try in the corner.

"He's freakish," said Laffranchi.

"I think he's got 18-year-old legs on him at the moment.

"We'll have to speak to Searley (Titans boss Michael Searle) and get him signed up for another 10 years.

"Him being a bundle of energy on the football field, it's really contagious and rubs off, especially being a senior player."

Campbell is arguably playing better than in 2001 when he was crowned Dally M Medallist while a halfback for the Sharks, who went down 30-22 to the Bulldogs on Monday night.

"He's got that rare talent where he can make something out of nothing," Cronulla lock Greg Bird told AAP.

"There's a lot of players in that team who can do that.

"Scott Prince has been doing it, Mat Rogers in the past and their forwards (Luke) Bailey, (Mark) Minichiello and Laffranchi just keep rolling through you.

"If we're not on our game like we were last night, I can see a similar result (on Sunday when the Sharks meet Gold Coast at Toyota Park)."

Laffranchi makes a welcome return to the side after overcoming a badly bruised shoulder suffered while scoring a try on debut in Origin I.

Titans coach John Cartwright has dropped winger Ben Jeffery to the bench and rushed Jordan Atkins into the starting side in his comeback from a serious knee injury.

There's been plenty of questions asked about the Titans' woeful record of just three away wins since entering the competition last year but Laffranchi said there was no cause for concern.

"I don't think it's a major issue within the playing group," he said.

"We lost to Newcastle by one point and the Tigers by two (this year).

"Each of those teams, we came from 12 points down and the Tigers are a 10 to 12 point side at Leichhardt anyway.

"I think the intensity and effort is still there, it's just that we're letting teams get away on their home ground.

"It comes with the territory of being top of the ladder, every team is out to get you."

Laffranchi said he was keen to bring the confidence he gained from a sparkling Origin debut into the Titans camp.

"I knew I was good enough," he said about playing for the Blues.

"I just had to prove to people that I can play Origin and I've definitely done that."

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