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Battle ready: Leeming no stranger to rivalry despite derby debut

Kruise Leeming knows all about local derbies, but the new recruit is about to get a taste of the Titans' biggest rivalry this weekend.

Making his NRL debut only six days after landing in Australia, the 27-year-old played a pivotal role in the Coast's gritty 20-18 home win over the Dragons, and now faces an even tougher task against the ladder-leading Brisbane Broncos.

But despite being a newcomer to the David v Goliath battle, the former Leeds Rhinos captain knows what to expect after being a regular in countless local Super League battles against the likes of Warrington and Bradford.

"The lads have told me about this derby," Leeming said.

"We've got derbies over there as well, so I know how it goes with the difference in the physicality and the tempo of the game turns up a little bit which I'm ready for.

"I think it's important that we take the emotion out of it a little bit. Obviously there are going to be emotions and we're going to we're going to find it hard to do that, but we need to stick to the process and stick to what worked for us in the game against the Dragons."

Kruise Leeming shared his excitement of his first M1 derby with media this week. Photo: Gold Coast Titans
Kruise Leeming shared his excitement of his first M1 derby with media this week. Photo: Gold Coast Titans

That's included establishing an impressive one-two dummy-half punch with starting No. 9 Chris Randall, a similar set-up the Broncos have with Billy Walters and Cory Paix working in tandem.

Although, the opposition's partnership is something Leeming isn't too focussed on, wanting to more concentrate on his game after a solid 29 minute introduction to the best rugby league competition in the world.

"I'm just looking at what I can do mainly," he said.

"Obviously we'll do a little bit of video around them and we'll know their strengths come game day and Justin (Holbrook) will have covered.

"For me, I think it's just about concentrating on what I can control and that's my performance and that's what I can do for the team."

With the No. 14 jersey on to fill the hooking duties in the back-end of the contest, the Challenge Cup-winning rake knows how vitally important his role is to maintaining the rage during the entire 80 minutes, especially up against the in-form Broncos.

"You want the team to not lose anything when the bench comes on," Leeming said.

"If you look at the league and the way the teams are going, the teams that are going so well are those that don't seem to lose anything when the interchange players come on.

"Whether it be the physicality or the pace of the game, I'm just I'm just coming on to try and do my role... speed the ruck up a little bit and look after the defence.

"Obviously it is a derby and it's a big game whenever you play the Broncos, but they're going really well at the moment and it'll be a good win for us if we can get one over them."


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.