We’ve got plenty of motivation to put it together against Norths Devils this afternoon at Piggabeen.
The winner takes outright sixth place with both teams currently on the same points on the ladder but Norths holding a big advantage on for-and-against.
And it’s the start of the period where we will be without skipper Cheyne Whitelaw for the rest of the season after tearing his ACL last weekend in Rockhampton. It’s really sad news for Cheyne who gives his heart and soul to the team and has an enormous ‘motor’ and passion on the field.
It’s tough news for us just two weeks after Brayden McGrady also did his ACL but it means the other forwards have to step and find an extra gear to fill the void.
The good news is we have Lamar Liolevave back after missing the game against the Cutters through suspension and Kiah Cooper returns in the three-quarters.
After a disappointing loss to Burleigh Bears in round two, we’ve won four in a row at Piggabeen and that’s a record we’re keen to protect. The home support has been good and the boys feed off that so we’re hoping to get a good turn-out even though it’s Saturday afternoon and the Channel 9 game.
With the Titans way in Sydney playing the Bulldogs, hopefully some of their members and supporters will head down to watch us before they tune in for their game at 3pm.
Kane Elgey is obviously a key player for us against the Devils who are a formidable team, coached by Rowan Smith who was the Titans assistant coach when Kane made his NRL debut in 2016.
He knows he could have done things better last week against the Cutters even though he scored a good individual try and we are going to need his leadership and game management to be on-song.
And Konrad Hurrell is hoping he will be picked in the Tongan side for the Test against Samoa next Saturday, so that will be a great feat for the Seagulls if he gets selected straight out of ranks. He had a great World Cup tournament for Tonga last year and we’re thankful he brings the same enthusiasm and intent for us when he puts on the black and white jersey instead of the Titans’.
We have confidence that we have won seven or our last eight games but it is new territory to go into a match without Cheyne Whitelaw. That’s the challenge to our boys uo front but the effort at training and the strong work ethic the team has developed is good enough to see us step up.