At first, Ashley Taylor appeared to get his birthday wish after he helped Gold Coast grab an upset 30-18 NRL win over the Wests Tigers.
But top of his wish list appears to be a new car after the Titans halfback later revealed he survived a highway crash on the eve of his 21st birthday.
Taylor said he suffered whiplash and was resigned to his car being a write off after the nasty prang on Wednesday.
Stuck in gridlock near Broadbeach, Taylor was rear-ended by a car in a 100kph zone.
He shuddered to think how bad it could have been if he had not braced when he saw the vehicle hurtling toward him in the rearview mirror.
“I was just sitting still on the highway, traffic was blocked up and they rammed me up the butt,” he said.
“Lucky I saw it coming because it could have been a lot worse.”
Next day Taylor turned 21 but the young half admitted he was largely celebrating his good fortune.
“I suffered whiplash. But I got it checked out at the hospital and they said it was sweet,” Taylor said of the crash.
Taylor showed no sign of his ordeal as he amassed a personal haul of 14 points on Saturday night in his best game for the Titans.
He kicked five straight conversions and notched his maiden NRL try, a wonderful 58th minute effort in which he combined with centre Josh Hoffman.
Taylor crossed as Gold Coast scored four times in 17 minutes, turning a 10-0 deficit after 15 minutes into an unstoppable 30-10 second half lead.
The young No.7 believed he was starting to click with new halves partner Tyrone Roberts, who celebrated his 100th game.
But just like he did in his horror crash, Taylor said he was looking over his shoulder after injured first-choice halfback Kane Elgey (knee) re-signed this week for another two years.
“Obviously he is out this year and I have to perform,” he said.
“He has re-signed and that has put a bit of heat on the halves.”