Doors open for Palace

FURTHER to our story earlier in the week, Crystal Palace have confirmed they will be coming to the Gold Coast in June to study our training and prehab processes and conferring with human science consultant Tim Gabbett and strength and conditioning coach Dan Ferris.

Tim spent 10 days in Britain and Europe last week, visiting several organisations including Manchester United, Real Madrid, English Rugby Union and Palace who, like the Titans, have limited resources compared to some of their wealthier opponents.

Palace’s sports scientist will have a particular look at our GPS data techniques and training programs, and Real Madrid are also looking at a visit soon after they play in Melbourne, also in June.

THERE are often real bogey venues or teams in footy and there can be little explanation why.

Gold Coast teams’ records in often chilly conditions in Canberra makes interesting reading.

From 1988 when the Giants first came into a then NSW Rugby League competition through the Seagulls, Chargers and Titans, no Gold Coast team had won in Canberra until 2011. That means 11 visits for 11 losses.

But that has been turned around by the modern Titans who, after four losses there from 2007-11, have won the past three at GIO Stadium.

Another interesting stats is that the Titans have won nine of 15 clashes with the Raiders, which means their only better record is against Parramatta – eight wins from 12 games.

TITANS try-scoring king James Roberts will be familiar with Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin’s game when they clash today.

They were roommates last week in the lead-up to the City-Country clash, both key players of the City side, after spending time at Penrith together before seeking opportunities in 2014 – Roberts with the Titans and Austin with the Tigers.

Austin knows how dangerous his roomie will be though: “There was plenty of banter going on during the week. We’ll have to watch him carefully because everybody knows how well he moves on his feet.”

THERE has been talk of Will Zillman taking on the team in Canberra for who he made his NRL debut in 2007 and Aidan Sezer playing against the side he is signed with from 2016. But people overlook that Mark Ioane also has a link with the Raiders which will see him motivated to perform well today.

Mark, who has played 20 NRL games since heading to the Gold Coast in 2013, went from winning an under-20s premiership with the Warriors in 2010 to Canberra hopeful of getting his NRL break, but in two seasons he was still searching for his first grade debut when he decided to look for his opportunity with the Titans.

‘Marky’ had rarely let the Titans down when called into the side and plays his third NRL match this season. When he has been relegated back to Burleigh Bears he always gives 100 per cent and coach Neil Henry liked the way he took the opportunity when he was a late call up to the Queensland Residents side last week and put in a dominant effort off the bench.

“Mark Ioane really earned his spot on the bench after a dominant performance for Queensland Residents last Sunday and good form for Burleigh and he will be out to impress against his previous club,” said coach Neil Henry who has gone for size and front row rotation on the bench with Matt White, Eddy Pettybourne and Ioane and Daniel Mortimer who will relieve Kierran Moseley at hooker.

Having said that, Pettybourne and skipper Nate Myles have the ability to slip back to the back row during the match.

TRIVIA: Who was the first captain of a Gold Coast team in the equivalent to the NRL competition (Giants in 1988)?

ANSWER to last question: Greg Bird and Luke Douglas, both playing for the Sharks, were the two current players involved in the club’s first ever victory in 2007?