Coach Garth Brennan has spoken to the media this morning for the final time before the Titans take on the Panthers at Cbus Super Stadium tomorrow night.
Brennan is well aware of the importance of the fixture, and has given his thoughts before kick-off:
1. Fitness of Tyrone Roberts
Five-eighth Tyrone Roberts was rested from Tuesday’s field session due to some swelling in his Achilles tendon, but has completed the final session today.
“There was a little bit of inflammation there and I don’t want to risk him,” Brennan said. “There’s no further risk, but it’s just a pain thing for him.
“It’s only Round 5, and I don’t want to risk him now or for his career either.
“If he gets through today, he’ll be there tomorrow night.”
2. The spine combination
If Roberts is fit to play, it will be the first time this season that the Titans have been able to keep the same ‘spine’ for consecutive weeks.
“They are so important to the side (the spine). You take the halves or hooker out of any side, and they will struggle,” Brennan said.
“We’re not using it as an excuse, but the more games they play together, their combination will continue to grow.”
3. Hard work and execution
Prop forward Jarrod Wallace spoke earlier in the week about having ‘polish and execution’ in their attack, but Brennan knows the hard work the group have been putting in at training.
“Execution. We’ve got to execute better,” Brennan said.
“If we’re to turn things around, we need to stick to our processes and make sure we’re all on the same page.
“They’re probably trying too hard. They’re trying to be individuals out there instead of sticking to the processes.”
4. Milestone man
Fullback Michael Gordon will play his 250th NRL game tomorrow night, and with close to 450 of his family and friends in attendance to celebrate the milestone, he’ll be looking to have a strong game.
“It’s great, it’s fantastic for the club,” Brennan said. “To have a guy come back and finish his career and have that many people come out and support him is great.
“(To play) 250 is a massive achievement. One game is huge. He’s played in some really good clubs and had a lot of success at those clubs. He’s a great guy to have around, and his experience is invaluable for the young guys here at the club.”
5. Handling the pressure
Everyone at the club is under pressure to achieve the first victory of the season, but Brennan believes there is still plenty of hope and motivation amongst the group.
“I hate losing as much as anyone. I don’t do losing real well,” he said.
“The boys are keeping (my spirits) up. If they were down kicking stones and their confidence was poor, that would make me really concerned.
“I’m not happy with where we’re at. I’m not happy we haven’t won a game.
“The boys are positive, I’m still positive, so we’ve got to keep working hard, keep sticking together, stick tight and it will turn.”