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‘Only going to go up from here’: Ball security the focus for Round 2 NRLW clash

No one needs to tell the Gold Coast Titans what went wrong in their 20-12 opening round NRLW loss to St. George Illawarra at the weekend.

Impressive in defence, the side was forced to continually hold out a rampaging Dragons outfit, mainly due to the poor error rate and turnover of possession in the new side’s first outing.

Whilst coach Jamie Feeney was mildly pleased at the side’s ability to keep the score to just 20 points with a strong defensive effort, the experienced NRLW mentor has put ball security on the agenda at this week’s training session after only completing at 20 from 32 sets.

There were no issues with scoring points when attacking the Dragons, barging over the chalk three times – albeit one try disallowed – in all three instances down in the opposition 20 across the entire match.

The inaugural match for the Titans was a huge occasion for the playing squad and the club - who have patiently waited over six months to get on the field due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and although Gold Coast rookie Zara Canfield felt the poor completion rate came down to nerves, she and the group know what they need to do to get in the winner’s circle this weekend.

“I’d probably say it was a bit of nerves and a new team coming together,” Canfield said.

“We’re only going to go up from here. We know what we need to do as a team.

“We need to hold that ball and not concede those errors. Going into contact, we need to hold the ball and try to get a fast play the ball.

“This week will show with our preparation and hopefully we can really show come the end of this weekend.

A shining light in her maiden NRLW match, the back-rower was among the top five defenders against the Dragons, with 24 tackles at an incredible 92 percent efficiency in her 58 minutes on the field and admits she loves what is arguably the most important element of the game.

“Defence beats everything. You need to get your defence right and the attack will come,” Canfield said.

“I also love the contact, so it doesn’t worry me.”

The journey begins: Titans NRLW is here

Getting the chance to make her Telstra Premiership debut was a dream come true for the 21-year-old, who spent 2020 in the Broncos squad learning plenty, but never getting the chance to take the field.

“It meant so much to me finally getting that opportunity to get that starting position in the second row. I’m very grateful for all the staff and the team to get that No. 11 jersey,” Canfield said.

“The Broncos last year was a very good opportunity and I’m so happy I got there and training alongside all those too girls was amazing from what I took from it.

“Coming to Titans, I knew what I had to do and train really hard to get that starting spot.

“My mum and her partner were down there, so that was good having them down there and she was really happy seeing me out there and watching my dreams come true.”

Looking ahead to this weekend’s match-up against the Sydney Roosters, the youngster knows the incumbent grand finalists will be much like the Titans, hungry to avenge the Round 1 loss, but is confident the team can improve on last week’s performance.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough game,” Canfield said.

“We know what we need to do and they’re going to come out hungry looking for a win.

“We have the team to win and I’m sure we will.”

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Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.