Ten-pin king struck

ASSISTANT coach Terry Matterson, the former two-time Broncos premiership winner and popular member of the staff, was penalised for trying too hard to show his ten-pin bowling attributes during a team activities season on Wednesday.

‘Matto’ showed the Titans players how it was done with a top-score on the day of 195. However he pulled a quadriceps muscle while at it and limped out of Robina’s bowling alley worse for wear.

Not the best way to celebrate his 48th birthday ... although there’s no doubt the natural sportsman has talent. If it wasn’t for him finishing with his only open frame of the game with his last bowl (one pin was left standing), he would have broken 210.

 

KEVIN GORDON surely set a rugby league record in the past few weeks with his ‘magic carpet ride’ video. Kev’s ride - lying down on a skateboard concealed by a carpet rug down a suburban street – has been viewed by over 2.9 million people on Facebook!

Astounding … but what else do we expect from our Kevvie?

 

I FIND the criticism of rugby league’s history at NRL/ARL – alluding to a perception that the Gold Coast won’t support a team as the key to its woes - as misleading. And the incredible rally by people of the region in the past week and a half after the NRL saved the club has shown that having a national side does mean something to the community.

Issues with the Centre of Excellence is a contributing factor to the Titans’ position, but some media critics persistently turn to the hackneyed ‘the Gold Coast will never support a team’ cliché because the national entity of a Gold Coast side changed from Giants, to Seagulls, to Chargers to a nine-year hiatus then the Titans.

What the critics don’t realise, and sure while crowds have declined in the past few seasons, is that the Titans are fifth in the NRL when it comes to average crowds over the club’s eight seasons – and higher than the North Queensland Cowboys who are portrayed as having wonderful support.

That’s right. The Titans’ average from 2007-14 is 17,161 (thanks stats guru, David Middleton) behind only Brisbane, Newcastle, Canterbury and Souths and above the Cowboys’ 15,982 who are sixth.

We need more regular support, and members, but the hard-core support has been loyal and the Gold Coast IS a rugby league city.

 

IT will be a step up for some of the newcomers to the Titans squad this year but certainly some have done their apprenticeships. And they only have to look at how Paul Carter adapted so well on the field last year after debuting at almost 22 after captaining Australian Schoolboys three and a half years earlier.

Ryan Simpkins was Penrith’s reserve grade (NSW Cup) player of the year last season in a side that won the competition, while Agnatius Paasi was the Warriors’ reserve grade player of the year too. Lachlan Burr achieved the honour at Canterbury in 2013 and made his NRL debut that season but didn’t get a look in last season, after signing with the Titans mid-season.

 

THE Tigers might have the youngest average age of any NRL side at around 21, and have a young energetic pack that got the better of our boys in the first home game of the 2014 season (who will forget the heat that day?).

But a statistical match up of the packs tomorrow provides an interesting comparison.

Out of the 10 forwards in each side, there are six who have played less than 50 first grade games. Tigers - Sironen (38), Sue (35), Seumanufagai (40), Taupau (45), Lodge (4) and Lovett (0); Titans – James (47), Robinson (32), Ioane (18), Burr (1), Moseley (1) and Paasi (1). Rarely would such inexperienced packs have gone head to head.

However add Tigers veterans Farah (221 appearances), Halatau (204), Galloway (188) and Woods (85) and their aggregate is 860 NRL games while the Titans get to only 668 with Douglas (215), Myles (188) Pettybourne (103) and Srama (62).

 

TITANS players sho didn’t make the line-up for tomorrow’s clash will go around in the Intrust Super Cup over the weekend.

Kane Elgey, Jamal Fogarty, Ryan Simpkins, Leva Li and Jai Ingram will go around for Tweed Seagulls against Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval while Brad Tighe, Anthony Don (at fullback) and Christian Hazard will play for Burleigh against the Capras in Rockhampton.