Daniel Mortimer has certainly become the Aquis Titans’ ‘fix it’ player after returning from an early season injury that opened the way for Kane Elgey to make his mark at halfback.
Mortimer has been chosen at five-eighth against the Dragons this Sunday, and will wear the number six jersey that he debuted in for Parramatta in 2009 on the way to a grand final.
After starting Sunday’s game against Canberra at hooker, Mortimer once again found himself in the halves after Greg Bird went off with an injury shortly after the kick-off. The 26-year-old’s ability to cover both positions a valuable asset to coach Neil Henry.
In 2015 he has started six games at halfback and nine at dummy-half. Despite playing just 15 of a possible 24 games, Mortimer leads the Titans in one-on-one tackles with 55 and is second in average tackles per game (28.9), showing his ability to defend in the middle. Renowned for his hard-working approach, Mortimer said he would ideally love to settle in the one position but is happy to play his part wherever he lines up.
“I’d like to cement a starting position, I’ve enjoyed the hooker role and I feel like I’ve played some of my best footy there,” he said. “But if something happens I’m happy to bounce back to the halves, I’m just happy to play my role at the moment.”
In just his second season on the Gold Coast Mortimer has quickly established himself as a real team-orientated players, a great role model on and off the field who is among the fittest in the squad, an outstanding trainer always prepared to do extra work and willing to give his time off the field.
He still finds time to do his PE teaching practical experience, recently teaching at Robina State High.
In a year gripped with injury, he just wants to do what is best for his coaches and teammates.
“It’s been one of those years where it’s hard to get settled with the injuries and everyone is having to bounce around and play a few positions,” Mortimer said.
“I’m happy to do what’s best for the team, I’ve always said that.
“I’d like to try and stay in a position, whether it be hooker or half so hopefully I’ll have a good pre-season and have more of an idea of where I am at then. “Wherever I play I’ll try my butt off and do the best I can.”
Mortimer’s 117 NRL games places him as one of the more experienced players in the young Titans group. Having played in successful sides at the Parramatta Eels and the Sydney Roosters, Mortimer says although there have been some difficult games, the Titans youngsters will all benefit from their experience this year.
“They’re all very talented players and you probably see sometimes on the field they’re young and inexperienced but that’s probably what this year has been good for,” Mortimer said.
“The positive is those young boys getting experience and I think the whole team will definitely benefit from that experience next year.”
Coming off a confidence-boosting win over the Canberra Raiders, Mortimer says the Titans can knock off the Dragons in in their final home game of the year.
“If we play with that effort we did against the Raiders, finish the game well and complete well, I think we can match any team,” he said. “That’s been our biggest issue this year [being consistent against the top sides]. Hopefully we can do that on Sunday.”
The Titans take on the Dragons at Cbus Super Stadium this Sunday 4pm.