Jacks ready for more after facing Broncos behemoths

It's like being asked for your favourite form of torture.

In the wake of his 37-tackle performance in last Sunday's 26-18 win over the Broncos, Titans halfback Ryley Jacks was asked which was the tougher assignment out of tackling Broncos behemoths Tevita Pangai jnr, Matt Lodge or Payne Haas.

For a player weighing barely 90-kilograms none are a proposition you would happily choose but it is Jacks' willingness to sacrifice his body at both ends of the field that could earn him a sustained stint in the top grade.

"Pangai's pretty tough," Jacks admitted in his understated way. "He's quick and good on his feet, but those other two are massive."

After 25 NRL games for Melbourne across two seasons, the 27-year-old made the move from the Storm to the Gold Coast in search of greater opportunity.

Stuck behind Brodie Croft and Cameron Munster at Melbourne, Jacks committed to the Titans before Tyrone Roberts' return from Super League was confirmed.

He has spent the majority of 2019 guiding the fortunes of Tweed Heads in the Intrust Super Cup.

Coach Garth Brennan promised he would get an opportunity to play NRL and while the circumstances of his elevation are less than ideal he is ready to make the most of it.

"I thought about that today. The reason for leaving Melbourne was to get more of an opportunity to play more NRL," said Jacks, who played in round two and three when both Ash Taylor and Roberts were out injured.

Titans halfback Ryley Jacks.
Titans halfback Ryley Jacks. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

"Hopefully Ash is all good but I really don't know how many weeks I'll get.

"Garth told me to go in and try and take the opportunity. It was good to get the win but I think we can improve even more from that which is exciting."

Given the tutelage he received at the Storm it is no surprise to see Jacks play so late into the defensive line to provide his outside men with more time and space. The downside of that commitment is that he regularly finds himself in the grasp of opposition defenders.

"You're always going to cop whacks as the halfback, especially in the NRL," he said nonchalantly.

"They try to pressure you so I wasn't surprised that they were doing that."

Playing well before the defence had been engaged was one of the criticisms levelled at Taylor following his return from injury. In the end, deteriorating confidence levels leading to a request for time away from the game.

The reason for leaving Melbourne was to get more of an opportunity to play more NRL

Titans No.7 Ryley Jacks

The confidence to play an extra half-second later could secure Jacks an extended stint in the top grade with the timeline on Taylor's return still uncertain.

"He's got the opportunity to make that spot his own," Brennan said.

"He came to the Gold Coast this year for an opportunity. He felt that there was a good chance to get an opportunity at the Titans and when I spoke to him about signing I told him that I would give him a crack.

"I told him that this was his opportunity. He's been biding his time and doing a good job back at Tweed.

"He really took it to the line [against the Broncos] in that first half especially.

"When we went to our shapes we looked like we were questioning the Broncos defensive line.

"It helps if you've got halves that are willing to go right to the line and take a little bit of a hit. I thought Ryley did that really well and I thought he defended really well and did a really good job."

It's a job he's prepared to do again on Friday night at Cbus Super Stadium when he will have the likes of Tohu Harris, Isaiah Papali'i, Leeson Ah Mau, Bunty Afoa, Adam Blair and former Titan Agnatius Paasi trying to get at him.

It's the "whatever it takes" mentality that the entire team embodied to knock off the Broncos and one they need to repeat to get on an upward trend.