iSelect Titans coach Neil Henry will wait until tomorrow before deciding his line-up for the clash with Manly at Cbus Super Stadium (3pm) with 19 players in the reckoning after winger Kalifa Faifai Loa proved he had recovered from a knee injury.
Dave Taylor did not train today and is in extreme doubt but will be given until tomorrow to see if neck and calf injuries have settled down and Henry will decide between Faifai Loa, Anthony Don and Kevin Gordon as his wingers.
So the squad will be reduced by two from: Zillman, Gordon, Takairangi, Roberts, Faifai Loa, Don, Sezer, Mortimer, Bailey, Falloon, Douglas, Myles, Minichiello, Bird, White, Ioane, Taylor, Carter and Nelson.
AN amazing statistic surrounding Aidan Sezer and Daniel Mortimer’s pairing is that not only when they run out tomorrow will it be one of the few times since injuries hit the halves in round 8, when Albert Kelly suffered a minor fracture in his leg, that the Titans will have the same six and seven for two successive weeks but it will be only the seventh time this season the side has fielded specialist halves.
Due to injuries to Albert Kelly, Aidan Sezer and Beau Henry the side has fielded 11 combinations in the halves in 20 matches. Kelly returns from injury for Tweed Seagulls this weekend and Henry is not far away from returning after having a setback to his knee problem, so all four specialist halves could be available next weekend – too late unfortunately.
Incidentally, Sezer knows how formidable his opponents are tomorrow. Earlier this week he rated the Eagles combination of Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry Evans as the best in the NRL.
ONE aspect of Mark Minichiello’s announcement on Friday that he will finish his career at Hull in England is that he’ll wear the black and white jersey that his coach Neil Henry donned quite a few years back.
Few know that Henry, a craft halfback or five-eighth, went from the Raiders lower grades to play a season under Brian Smith at Hull FC in 1989 and did some coaching with their Colts and reserve grade side while there.
‘Mini’ will be a great acquisition for Hull and can’t wait to experience the local derby between the arch-rivals in the City – Hull FC and Hull Kingston Rovers.
“I hear the crowds are pretty passionate and sing and really get into it when the cross-town rivals go head to head and I can’t wait to experience,” he said.
He was full of praise for his time with the Titans. “I love the club and living on the Gold Coast and want to return after my two seasons in England,” he said. “I’m grateful for the opportunities the club has given me and I’m sure it will return to better days next season.”
WHILE on coach Henry, you could imagine his feelings when he went out onto Allianz Stadium on Monday night for the first time since his Cowboys side was robbed last year in the semi-final against Cronulla when all six match officials somehow allowed the Sharks to score a try on the seventh tackle on the way to a 20-18 victory.
He looked across the ground and here were the offending referees from that match, Matt Cecchin and Henry Perenara, warming up on the field.
‘King’ Henry was praying it would not be a case of déjà vu and while there were no clangers on the night there were certainly several 50-50 calls that went against the Titans.
IF anyone has seen Ash Harrison since he retired prematurely after returning for the round 14 clash with Melbourne, you would notice a much slimmer version of the iconic club man who has been sorely missed in recent games.
‘Harro’ has stripped off plenty of kilos through a combination of an absence of heavy weight training and the Paleo diet he has been following religiously. The diet avoids many of the common foodstuffs of today and is renowned for cleansing the body and producing better energy.
UNDER 20s centre Connor Broadhurst, who comes from the Queensland town of Blackwater between Rockhampton and Emerald that also produced the ‘Coal Train’ Dave Taylor, has impressed with his worth ethic on and off the field this season.
Broadhurst is studying physiotherapy at Griffith University and works at Zaraffa’s drive through coffee outlet two mornings a week. One of his shifts is a 5am start on Tuesdays.
It meant he had about four hours sleep on the Tuesday this week after flying to Brisbane from Sydney after Monday night’s clash with Souths and getting back to the Coast after midnight.
It was the fourth time this season he has had to fly from interstate after a Monday night clash and get little shut eye before fronting for work at five the next morning but has not been late once.
THERE will be a special guest at the Titans-Eagles clash tomorrow – Manly’s oldest surviving player Ernie Cannon, who lives at Tweed Heads.
Ernie, a spritely 93, played in the first Sea Eagles side when they entered the competition in 1947, taking the field as hooker alongside internationals Gordon Willoughby, Johnny Bliss and Roy Bull.
Ernie served as a navigator in World War II, flying in Liberators, the big American bombers.