Phillip Sami’s heroic effort to chase down Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr has seen him claim the nickname “the Hound” – as in the man who chased down the Fox.
But the flying winger can also add “King of the Titans’ speed demons” to his list of titles.
Sami’s sensational chase to bring down Addo-Carr just centimetres short of the tryline in the dying minutes of the Titans’ 24-8 loss to the Storm at AAMI Park encapsulated the spirit and desire that the Titans will use to rebuild the empire after a luckless season in 2019.
Other than a display of heart, it was an unbelievable show of pace to catch Add-Carr – the man recognised as the NRL’s fastest man.
Sami hit a top speed of 35.9km/h to reel in Addo-Carr, easily beating the Gold Coast winger’s previous best of 34.7km/h, and making him the new titleholder as the fastest player at the Titans.
Sami surpassed fellow outside backs Anthony Don (35.1km/h) and AJ Brimson (35km/h) as the Titans with the highest top speed recorded by GPS tracking.
Sami said as soon as Addo-Carr fielded the ball and set off on his run, he set himself for the challenge of a foot race against the flying Storm flanker.
“I was a little bit surprised, as I was getting closer I thought ‘I am a good chance of getting him here’, and lucky enough I did,” Sami said.
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“I just saw him go up for the ball and saw he had the length of the field to run, so I just thought to myself ‘I’ll chase and see how close I can get to him’. The next thing I knew, I had a chance of getting there.
“I just put my head down and ran and even if I wasn’t going to get there I just wanted to show the effort of putting in that chase and lucky enough I got there to stop him.”
It’s a credit to the culture the Titans have built after a tumultuous season in 2019 that, with the win and the finals both out of reach, Sami still dug deep to produce such a special moment.
“I think this past eight weeks, I know it hasn’t shown on the field, but we’ve had a big emphasis on putting in big efforts and not giving up on any play,” Sami said.
“So that’s just something I’m trying to improve on – just never giving up on the play.”