KEVIN Gordon will make his NRL debut as a goal-kicker in tomorrow’s clash with the Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium.
With Aidan Sezer sidelined, and Greg Bird’s right foot injury ruling him out, there has been a bit of ‘positioning’ for the job by several of the Titans backs at training this week with Gordon, David Mead, Brad Tighe (who landed quite a few from the touch-line) and James Roberts showing their wares.
But ‘Kevvie’, returning to the side after two matches out with a knee injury, has Coach Carty’s approval.
“He trains harder than anyone at all aspects of his game and has been probably been practising as a goal-kicker in hope that one day this would happen; it was a million to one but it looks like it’s happened,” he commented.
Gordon, the club’s top try-scorer, is hoping to add a bit of magic to the side upon return and not just with the boot. In fact he visited resident Gold Coast magician Matt Hollywood this week to do a series of photos dressed as a convincing looking magic man, that appear in tomorrow’s Gold Coast Bulletin.
ASSISTANT coach Neil Henry will provide a clean-shaven fresh look at tomorrow’s game after sporting a beard for over a month.
‘King’ Henry wasn’t overly convinced the bearded look was really him but someone also pointed out the Titans hadn’t won a match since his last shave, so it was another piece of encouragement … maybe it will bring the side a change of luck.
A BIT OF TRIVIA …
John Cartwright will coach against a Panthers side that incudes his nephew Bryce, who is making his second NRL appearance for Coach Carty’s old club. Bryce is the son of John’s older brother David, one of three Cartwright brothers to play first grade with the Panthers.
Who was the previous NRL coach to have coached against a nephew?
It was Canterbury’s Steve Folkes in 2003 when Jared Anderson played wing for the Sharks, coached by Chris Anderson. Folkes (Karen) and Anderson (Lynne) married daughters of Bulldogs patriarch Peter Moore.
Folkes also coached against another nephew when Andersons other son, Ben, played for the Storm twice against the Bulldogs in 1998-99.
PROVIDED he gets through tomorrow’s game fine, Greg Bird will be an automatic selection for NSW for Origin II next week which will pitch him again against co-Titans captain Nate Myles who was Queensland’s inspirational best in game one.
It could be a career defining match.
Myles made his debut in game one of 2006 and has never lost a series, playing a part in all of Queensland’s eight straight series victories. Meanwhile, Bird – who made his debut in game two of 2007 off the bench (and won man of the match awards in the next two matches, both playing five-eighth) - has never won an Origin series.
Such respect do the pair have for each other there is no banter or even post-series discussion when they return to Titans routine each year. But no man in the Blues camp, other than skipper Paul Gallen, wants a win more or has waited longer.
WEEKLY TRIVIA: Who were the first Gold Coast captains when they first joined the 'big league' in 1988, and when they re-emerged as the Titans in 2007. Answers next week.