With just two Gold Coast Titans in our team tonight, we know we face a pretty tough challenge against top-four side Redcliffe at Dolphins Stadium tonight. But it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to.
Kane Elgey will lead the way at halfback again but we will be without regulars of recent weeks like Konrad Hurrell, Brendan Elliot, Kiah Cooper, Leilani Latu (rested) and Ryan Simpkins (injured). Plus Brayden McGrady is out with a knee injury.
Tony Mata’utia will play off the interchange bench and he will be keen to impress after finding some form in A-grade.
If we want to show we have the depth and consistency to be a top-six side, we need challenges like this.
Normally it would be late in the season when injuries set in that we’d be so thin on Titans talent, so in one way it’s good to see how our regular squad can perform with those who have been training with us since the pre-season, in preparation of where we might be in a couple of months.
Having said that, Kane will be a key ingredient for us, along with Lindon McGrady. They have been dominant in the halves during our six straight wins.
It shows pretty good depth that we can call on Shane Gillham to start in the front row. He has been getting valuable game fitness in A-grade and he has proven his worth in the Intrust Super Cup before he was sidelined with an ACL injury last year.
In the backs Kody Parsons, who played Titans under-20s last year, comes in on the left after showing good form in A-grade; Kurtis McDonald comes in on the right edge and he competed well in ISC last year and Talor Walters will play on the wing.
Talor, who has been playing in the halves in A-grade, showed what he can do at this level last season before his season ended early because of a bad ankle injury. Tristan Lumley will start in the back row for ‘Riz’ Simpkins.
We have to be able to play well without a big Titans contingent and we won’t get much tougher a task than doing it at Redcliffe. We have plenty of players in our squad who have been performing well in the A-grade competition just waiting for a chance in the ISC competition but with our side going so well, they have had to wait for an opportunity.
This is the chance for a few to show they are good enough to be playing at this level.
It’s the start of an important period for us too as we play the Dolphins, thee Capras, Norths Devils and Burleigh Bears in successive weeks and all but the Capras are in the top six. If we aspire to make the finals, we have to show we can compete with these teams.
We’ve developed a really good defensive culture in the past few matches and if we hold the ball and play with the patience we have shown for most of the winning run, we’re going to be in the match against a very good Redcliffe side.
We’ll certainly rip in and the boys will play for each other. That’s something that has been evident pretty much all season.