iSelect Titans NYC coach Ben Woolf will pledge the same message to his depleted squad before they take on the Canberra Raiders this afternoon – “play smarter”.
His side, which began the season with little Holden Cup experience, goes into the game with an injury list that includes halves Christian Hazzard and Ken Elgey, plus centres Soape Palau and Tevita Folau, plus utilities Shaun Hudson, Shane Wright and forwards Francis Fifita and Matt Applebee.
But he knows he’ll received effort and improvement from his side that, like their opponents, are chasing their first victory of the season.
“It’s pretty basic for us again today – we just have to control the ball better and play patient football and keep ourselves sin the match for long,” said Woolf whose young side has begun the season with a 50-22 loss to the Sharks and 34-4 defeat at the hands of the Tigers. “And we need to make better defensive decisions on the edges.”
Palau joined the injury list after suffering a hamstring problem last Sunday which will sideline him for week, joining his cousin Folau who is out for the season with a knee injury.
But that has given opportunities to others and there is still plenty of youth, enthusiasm and talent in the squad to give the Titans their first victory today.
He team: Hughes, Kelly, Hawkes, Broadhurst, Spring, Daniel Schwass, Fletcher, Tuiasau, Wedderburn-Parish, Price, Morehu, Clarke, Wilson. Interchange: Ioane, Briskey-Luscombe, Conners, Harrold, Hayden Schwass, Sharp.