We are treating our game against Easts Tigers at Suzuki Stadium on Saturday as the most important of the season.
The Tigers are two points above us on the ladder and if we can get a victory, we are right on the edge of the top six with three rounds to go and still alive.
If we lose … it’s going to be pretty tough.
Competition leader the Blackhawks take on Norths Devils who are also two points ahead of us and if Townsville continue their form, that will help.
And Sunshine Coast and PNG Hunters, both also two points up the ladder, play each other which means we could draw level with the loser.
So there’s plenty to play for.
Unfortunately we’re going to be without five-eighth Lindon McGrady because of a shoulder injury and Eli Levido will fill in there, as he did in the second half against the Cutters last Sunday. Jack Cook will move into hooker and Sam Meskell will come onto the bench.
While Eli has plenty of experience in the halves, it certainly puts more emphasis on Kane Elgey really leading us around and taking on the Tigers when we have the ball.
We’re pleased to welcome back Brendan Elliot after he’s been 18th man for the Titans for the past three games and his experience and outstanding defensive game will certainly be a boost for us.
The Tigers are a very good side with plenty of Melbourne Storm influence there. Brandon Smith, who has been on the bench for the Storm most of the season, has been selected to start at hooker.
Brodie Croft and Billy Walters are impressive halves, Scott Drinkwater has been very good at fullback, Marion Seve is a class centre and in the forwards Patrick Kaufusi and Dave Tyrell, like Smith, have played plenty of NRL footy.
Essentially, it’s a four-point game for us and we have to be up for the challenge. The key is going to be how we handle them in the forwards.
I’m confident we’re up for it.