The Gold Coast Titans' NRLW squad were put through their paces in an intra-team scrimmage on Friday night, giving new coach Karyn Murphy her first look into what's to come in the 2022 season.
Having a fair spread of talent across both teams, it was an entertaining contest played at Titans HQ, with a good number of family and friends on the sidelines to cheer on the Gold Coast's women's team.
Speaking to Channel 9 Gold Coast after the completion of the opposed session, Murphy was impressed with the display of talent and the contest will allow her to tweak a number of things ahead of Round 1 against the Dragons in a fortnight.
"We've been together for about three weeks now for the pre-season and with it being a short pre-season, we were looking to have possibly a trial but that didn't work out, so we've had an in-house scrimmage," Murphy said.
"It's been really good to see the girls have put into practice what we've covered over the last few weeks and we can fix up a few things after tonight.
"We're all looking forward to the last two weeks (of pre-season) before we kick off Round 1."
Titans.com.au watched on and made the following observations from the contest.
Halves choices aplenty
Murphy will have a tough decision to make ahead of Round 1 as to who will be the team’s playmaking duo with a number of options at her disposal.
Marquee signing Lauren Brown is expected to line-up in the halves after playing the last two NRLW seasons at hooker; meanwhile incumbent linchpin Kimi Breayley-Nati is expected to play a big part in this year’s campaign but has a number of new recruits pushing hard to get their chance to shine, including the likes of Emily Curtain.
The 21-year-old helped steer the Wests Tigers to the New South Wales Women’s premiership last month and has joined the Titans with plenty of confidence given she not only kicked the crucial conversion to send the game to golden-point but iced the title with a one-pointer 30 metres out.
Whilst Brown didn't participate in the scrimmage due to a hand injury (set to be ready for Round 1), Breayley-Nati made her intentions known with a strong showing ahead of the season opener, as did the new young playmaker Curtain.
Georgia Hale is also an option to play at five-eighth if required and new Titan Apii Nicholls has all the tricks to admirably lead the side around.
Engine room full of steam
The Gold Coast's forward pack is locked and loaded for a big season ahead and showed that up against each other in the intra-team matchup.
Shannon Mato is back to full fitness after being ruled out of the 2021 NRLW season with a knee injury and will be a huge component to this year's campaign. Steph Hancock is like a fine wine and continues to just keep getting better and better and Jess Elliston has grown yet another leg since retaining her role in the front row.
Adding to the depth is Roxy Murdoch, Rona Peters and Annette Brander, with all three new recruits set to add plenty of experience and spark for Murphy in the upcoming two months.
Throw in young forwards April Ngatupuna and Laikha Clarke and the options for who will play in the middle third are endless.
Backline to be determined
Who will run out in the back five positions is the ultimate question that will need to be answered before Round 1 with the depth in that department the best in the competition.
Marquee strike weapon Evania Pelite will be a lock - likely at centre - but she could also be a contender in the fullback race, that also has three other runners in that contest... Jasmine Peters, Jetaya Faifua and Nicholls.
On the flanks is another headache with the outside backs oozing with talent.
Top try scorer Madison Bartlett and Broncos youngster Hagiga Mosby have both joined the club, alongside incumbent flyers Karina Brown and Hailee-Jay Maunsell - with a number of other players above also having the capability of filling in on the edge.
- Package image
- Package promotion
- Supporter Memberships
- Package name:
- Package price:
- From 50 for per season
- Package includes
- 2 tickets to our Knights clash on Aug 28
- NRLW merch pack
- Invite for an experience with the team
The 2022 NRLW season is not far away and the Titans are aiming for grand final glory after coming so close in their inaugural season. Show your support with a NRLW membership - on sale now ready for '22!