Tyson Gamble may just have played himself into Kevin Walters' plans at Brisbane after the surprise halfback's fire and physicality helped them to their greatest-ever NRL comeback win.
The former electrical apprentice was plucked to partner Anthony Milford in another new halves combination as the Broncos searched for answers after two wins from their last 25 games.
Down 22-0 after just 15 minutes on Friday, it was Gamble's direct running and high energy that sparked the side in the 36-28 win, his defence on rampant Gold Coast backrower David Fifita also impressive.
It was the 24-year-old's fourth NRL game, the well-built five-eighth having played once for the Wests Tigers in 2018 and twice last year for Brisbane.
His most recent appearance ended in less than a minute after he was knocked out.
"My fourth year full-time and my fourth game and my first win and it's just persistence; I felt I could perform at this level and to play like that tonight is a step in the right direction," he said.
"It's (the on-field niggle) just a part of me, I just can't back down, it's not in my nature. I love it."
Walters knew what he was getting when the Norths playmaker took the fight to his Broncos teammates playing for Souths Logan in a Queensland Cup game earlier this season.
"He's been waiting a long time for his opportunity and I could see through the week he started to take some ownership of the team," Walters said.
"Loud voice, clear with his directions and what we've been lacking.
"He's certainly a passionate fella and I love that in people.
"He wants to win, he likes to talk and I like the way he goes about his work."
Dearden will play for North Queensland next season while Brodie Croft hasn't established himself since moving to Brisbane and Milford's contract expires this year.
Brisbane are hunting an experienced playmaker but Walters admitted Gamble had made his case.
"Some of the players here are playing for their futures and he did a great job, it's a good start for him," the coach said.
A Redcliffe junior, Gamble was a Canterbury fan growing up but can see a future at Red Hill.
"It can only be good thing for me," he said of his Friday night effort.
"If I keep playing like that there's no reason I can't stay."