The iSelect Gold Coast Titans under-20s will make their way down to Sydney tomorrow morning, to take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs, refreshed after the bye and determined to ensure their tough experiences of recent weeks will convert to victories in the last 10 rounds of the season.
“We’ve had a bit of a time off, which has been really beneficial for us,” coach Ben Woolf said. “We had a great session Thursday night, very positive, and I’m sure Sunday’s will be the same.”
All Sydney games are a one-day turn-around; meaning the team flies down Monday morning, competes Monday night, and then hop back on the plane Monday night to return to the Gold Coast.
“The one day turn around doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference to the team,” Woolf said. “We went down and beat the West Tigers in a one day turn around, so it can happen again.”
Fortunately, for the first time in a while, there are no new injuries to report. Shaun Hudson will make his return from a knee reconstruction which has had him on the sideline for 10 months. Jahrome Hughes has recovered from a minor leg injury and will play.
The under-20s’ last victory was against Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in round 8 in their most complete 80-minute performance of the season. Woolf would not have thought they would have not been victorious in the six games since – just like the Titans’ NRL team. However they have been in just about every match and played with enthusiasm, often against much bigger teams.
“The feelings have been so good this week,” said Woolf. “They are still competing and staying positive.”
James Iodice is back from playing for Canada in the Commonwealth Games nines competition where he performed well in the team that made the semi-finals.
The Holden Cup side to play the Rabbitohs is:
1 – Jahrome Hughes (capt)
2 – Brian Kelly
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 – Caleb Morehu
15 – Shaun Hudson
16 – Karl Lawton
17 – James Iodice
18 – Rory Humphreys