Rugby league is back, and tomorrow night the Titans head north to Townsville, to take on the North Queensland Cowboys at QCB Stadium.
New biosecurity protocols have been put in place by the NRL and the squad will travel to and from Townsville on the same day, something that has not been done before at this level.
Coach Justin Holbrook spoke with the media this morning to preview tomorrow night’s fixture.
1. Excitement is building
“Yeah it’s great,” Holbrook said. “It’s exciting for everyone involved in the game and the fans as well. Peter V’landys has done a great job, and it’s fantastic to know that I can head home from training today and footy will be back on the TV tonight.”
Cowboys v Titans - Round 3
2. Jamal the general
“It’s fantastic,” Holbrook said of the NRL return of halfback Jamal Fogarty. “Obviously I watched him guide Burleigh last year, and he played well in the trial against us as well. I suppose for us as a team we’re probably lacking that real general as the natural halfback. That’s why we’ve brought him in. He’s exactly what we need. He’s one of those guys who works hard on his game. As a coach, it’s a rewarding story. He’ll slot in nicely.”
3. Middle forward rotation about balance
“I think it’s different for the middles and being a bench player,” Holbrook said. “For me, we haven’t started well. We haven’t had Moe (Fotuaika) fit, and I’ve spoken many times before about getting the balance right for our side. Wal (Jarrod Wallace) will get the same amount of minutes and, being a middle, not a lot will change for him. When you’re in the forwards you obviously want to run out with the team, but it’s just what is happening for the balance of our side.”
4. Taylor the six
“I just think it’ll suit him,” Holbrook said of Ash Taylor’s move to five-eighth. “We’ve had him as the organiser, and it hasn’t worked. In the time off, I had a long think about every individual in our side and had to work out how we can get the best out of everyone. I think with Jamal being such an organiser, it makes it easier for Ash to just play the standard five-eighth role. He can touch the ball less, but he needs to make sure he makes it count.”
5. Anthony Don unlikely to play
“He’s struggling (with a knee injury),” Holbrook said. “Donny is unlikely, unless he does something fantastic today. His knee has been pretty sore. We’ll see how he goes today, but he’s unlikely to be honest. Both Jonus Pearson and Brian Kelly are there, so we’ll look to make a call on that later today.”