New Titans centre Kallum Watkins says the Gold Coast needs to focus on getting the fundamentals right to rediscover that winning feeling against the Broncos on Saturday at Cbus Super Stadium.
Watkins will become Titan No.149 on Saturday when he makes his long-awaited NRL debut, with the English Test centre to be the main attraction in the Queensland derby. GET TICKETS
The fact his debut is “long-awaited” was due to two factors – a reluctance to leave Leeds Rhinos while they were in a golden run of six Super League grand final appearances, and a delay in being granted his working visa that would allow him to play in the NRL.
“I’ve been here for nearly four weeks now,” Watkins said. “It’s been really enjoyable, and obviously training pretty hard, but at the same time getting to know the fellas as well.
“It has been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, but we knew it was going to take a couple of weeks for (the visa) to process because we needed to be here before June 30.
“I knew it was going to be a couple of weeks before I would actually get to play, but it finally came through yesterday morning. It was great news for myself and for the family as well.
“I am really excited for the journey ahead.”
That journey begins with another torrid local derby, with the Titans desperate to beat “big brother” Brisbane and claw their way off the bottom of the ladder, while the Broncos are fighting to keep their finals hopes alive and avenge the Gold Coast’s 26-18 win the last time the two teams met in Round 13.
That win over the Broncos was the last time the Titans have tasted success, but Watkins said the intensity at training proved the Gold Coast were not far away from returning to the winner’s circle.
“For us it is about doing the simple things right, doing the basic stuff,” he said. “The energy and effort areas we need to keep on top of. It needs to be consistent.
“This year, or what I have seen over the past couple of weeks, is that we are shooting ourselves in the foot a little bit. We make too many errors, and our discipline has not helped us.
“We are making it harder or ourselves to play well. But that is all down to the group. For us it is just about improving, and focusing on the next game, which is a big one this weekend.
“It shows in the training, it shows in how hard they are working.
“You can do all the preparation that we can, and prepare as much as possible to give us the right opportunities when we are playing out on the field, but it is not down to the coaches when we are on the pitch.
“It is down to us as a group, and we need to get there together.
“For us it is just about being confident and believing that we can do a really god job. It is a good task. It has obviously been a difficult couple of weeks, but we need to move on from that and progress as a team now.”