Titans coach Garth Brennan has spoken today ahead of the Round 2 match against the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney.
With both sides’ yet to register a win in 2019, it will be high stakes at Shark Park.
From today’s press conference here are five talking points:
1. The forwards challenge
Coach Garth Brennan applauded the efforts of Jarrod Wallace and Ryan James for their performances last week but he wants all of the pack to stand up and take charge tomorrow afternoon. With the likes of Paul Gallen, Andrew Fifita, Matt Prior and Aaron Woods taking to the field for the Sharks, each member of the pack will need to make a solid contribution.
“They’re a solid pack,” Brennan said. “I personally think Andrew Fifita is the best forward in the game. The middles know they’re in for a tough afternoon.
“I’m sure they’re (Titans forwards) well aware they need to stand up. They understand that forwards contribute a long way to winning a football game. I feel they take pride in their performance and they know what they need to do.”
2. The Sharks’ talent in both the backs and forwards
If the forwards need to be on their game, the backs need to turn up as well. Brennan spent time at the Panthers with now Sharks fullback Matt Moylan and knows how dangerous he can be. Brennan commented on both of their big name players.
“Andrew Fifita is one of the most damaging players I’ve seen and I think it’s safe to say that he is one of the best forwards in the world at the moment,” Brennan said.
“I’ve known Matt (Moylan) for a long time and he is one of the most dynamic players you will see on a footy field.”
3. Paul Gallen announcing his retirement today
Cronulla’s veteran forward Paul Gallen this morning announced he will retire at the end of season 2019 and Brennan applauded his contribution to the game.
“Paul’s a fantastic player, he’s been fantastic for the game. He’s been fantastic for Cronulla, NSW and Australia. It might add a little to the game tomorrow but I think it’ll be more emotional for them at the end of the year.”
4. Ryley Jacks selection
After injury forced both Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor out of the Round 2 match, Brennan handed the No.7 jersey to Jacks who will become Titan #146 when he runs out on to Shark Park tomorrow.
“He’s excited. He’s been waiting for this opportunity and he’s come to the Titans to secure a regular NRL position. He’s been in a fantastic system (at Melbourne) and played with three of the greatest players of all time so I’m sure he’s learnt a little bit off those guys.
“The haves make a clear call and all the players need to know their role. Ryley ad Aj will call the shots but the players around them need to stand up and respond to that. They’ve got a job to do as well.”
5. Phil Sami omission
Brennan made a selection change after Round 1 with Anthony Don earning a recall. He admitted that it wasn’t just a one-game performance that forced the decision.
“I wasn’t overly happy with his Broncos trial and Anthony went back to Burleigh and had a fantastic game.
“Phil’s got a few little things he needs to work on. It wasn’t just based on the one performance. He’s got the opportunity to prove me wrong when he gets on the field.”