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‘All about us’: Murphy keeping focus in-house to nullify Cronulla threats

Titans NRLW coach Karyn Murphy is wary the Sharks will be out to avenge last week’s disappointment and have plenty of strike power to do so at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

But despite the attacking threats the home side possesses, the Gold Coast mentor has again honed the team’s focus on themselves heading into their first interstate trip of the season, hoping to leave Sydney with another two points in hand and continue their unbeaten run after wins against both the Cowboys and Broncos to start 2023.

“We’ve had a good start and we’ve talked about it being all about us and to keep improving each week, which we’ve done from Rounds 1 to 2 with that Broncos performance last week.,” Murphy said.

“It’s our first [interstate] away game and we want to make sure we’re still improving and do that against the Sharks.

“They would be disappointed about last week and they obviously had a good Round 1 win.

“You’ve always got to be conscious of teams that have a loss and they’re back at home this week as well. They’ll definitely be looking forward to making up for last week.

“They’ve got some strike in Emma Tonegato if she does play, Quincy Dodd who is a quality nine and Tiana Penitani in the outside backs, so there’s plenty of strike for the Sharks as well.”

Whilst enjoying a nine-day break between games to freshen up after the golden-point thriller against Brisbane, the particular emphasis on themselves this week comes with three team changes being made – including two late changes due to injury.

With Jaime Chapman and Emily Bass ruled out, Hailee-Jay Ormond-Maunsell (centre) and Karina Brown (wing) will replace them in what will be their first appearances of the season.

“They are two quality players who have representative experience in our line-up, but this [situation] is what we’re about,” Murphy said.

“We’re a squad of 24 and we’ve spoken about depth this year and the extended season, so those girls that come in – Hailee-Jay and Karina – they have a lot of experience themselves and I’m sure they’ll do a good job this weekend.”

'We want to make sure we’re still improving': Murphy

The immense pool of depth the Titans have will again see five 18-year-olds play a big role in the game – including again fielding the youngest halves pairing in NRLW history – but Murphy has plenty of belief the quintet can help get the job done much like in Round 2.  

“To be honest, they came into the top squad and I was really happy to promote them into the 24 from the academy, but I wasn’t too sure when they’d get a game or what will happen for them this season,” she revealed.

“But the way it’s turned out… initially with Fui’s injury and then a few other injuries that we’ve picked up, the girls have got the opportunity and they deserve it.

“They’ve had a really good pre-season and I have every confidence in all five of them to continue to be up to NRLW level.”

Kick-off is at 3.10pm on Saturday, live on Channel 9, 9Now, Fox League and Kayo Sports.

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.