20s have to aim up for 80 minutes
It has been said enough this season. It’s not enough for the iSelect Titans Holden Cup under-20s team to put together good patches in games, to compete for the first half and fall away and to know there is talent and potential in the side that hasn’t been converted to victories.
Consistency and mental toughness is what coach Ben Woolf wants from his boys at Cbus Super Stadium tomorrow as they chase their first home win after their first 13 matches have produced just two away victories.
It’s not going to be an easy task against the fourth-placed Dragons who are always around the top four year in year out in under-20s. However the Titans only have to draw on their best performance of the season, when they beat the now fifth placed Wests Tigers at Leichardt Oval, to convince themselves they have it in them.
“Last game was probably our worst performance of the season, we didn’t give ourselves a chance,” Wolf said of the 34-10 loss at home to Melbourne Storm.
“The boys were all aware that we can’t afford to produce that kind of performance again.
“This week our preparation hasn’t been much different. Our attitude was off against Melbourne so we’ve just been working on having a better attitude towards the game and making sure our efforts are there.”
Hard-working and tough lightweight lock Parahi Wilson is out with a knee injury suffered against the Storm, joining prop Oshae Tuiasau who is out long-term with a similar injury.
Prop James Iodice, a player of enormous potential who is off to play for Canada in the Commonwealth Games rugby league nines tournament next month, comes onto the bench after a few games under his belt after returning from a terrible run with injuries.
“With a top four team that’s big and physical, we went with four front-rowers,” Woolf said.
“When competing against bigger teams, you can’t give them the ball more than you give it to yourself, so that’s going to be a big factor in what the result will be.”
The Dragons are coming off a 26-6 loss to the much improved Panthers who beat the Titans 34-18 the previous round.
Kick-off at 12:45pm followed by the NRL game at 3pm.
The Holden Cup side to play the Dragons is:
1 – Jahrome Hughes (capt)
2 – Rory Humphreys
3 - Jaiden Hawkes
4 – Connor Broadhurst
5 – Zac Spring
6 – Christian Hazard
7 – Kane Elgey (capt)
8 – Francis Fifita
9 - Deacon Fletcher
10 – Mitch Sharp
11 – Harrison Hughes
12 – Anthony Colman
13 – Jackson Clarke
14 – Karl Lawton
15 – Nathan Portelli
16 – Caleb Morehu
17 – James Iodice