Young Titans out to impress coach
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
'YOU'VE been given your opportunity, now impress me'.
That's practically the message that Jetstar Gold Coast Titans coach John Cartwright has sent out to at least 20 NRL unknowns after naming them in the squad for this Saturday's trial match at Coffs Harbour's BCU International Stadium against last year's grand finalists, the Melbourne Storm.
Cartwright said his decision to field a Queensland Cup-heavy side for the club's first match was a lot more than merely offering a token gesture to reward fringe players for months of tough pre-season training.
"These boys have been working really hard, and it is a huge opportunity to put themselves on notice," Cartwright said yesterday.
While the Titans side may be missing the names of Scott Prince, Preston Campell, Mat Rogers and Luke Bailey, picking an inexperienced line-up should ensure that every player that takes the field for the new franchise should do so breathing fire as competition for a spot in the first round in four weeks time heats up.
On the other hand Storm coach Craig Bellamy has taken a different tack naming as strong as squad as possible.
Former Bowraville junior Greg Inglis will make his first appearance in the number six jersey as Bellamy attempts to create a new halves combination with Cooper Cronk.
Saturday night's squads
Gold Coast Titans: 1. Richie Mathers, 2. Chris Walker, 3. Josh Graham, 4. Jordan Atkins, 5. Nathaniel Barnes, 6. David Myles, 7. Isaac Kaufmann, 8. Michael Henderson, 9. Tim McCann, 10. Brad Meyers, 11. Michael Hodgson, 12. Adam Hutchison, 13. Kris Kahler. Interchange: 14. Nick Parfitt, 15. James Wood, 16. Joel Reithmuller, 17. Chris Enahoro, 18. Andrew Maroney, 19. Matt Austin, 20. Murray Emmerson, 21. Matt Francis, 22. Tyson Lofipo, 23. Josh Costello, 24. Matt Pow, 25. Josh Blatch, 26. Kale Burton, 27. Smith Samau, 28. Josh Vaughn.
Melbourne Storm: 1. Billy Slater, 2. Matt Geyer, 3. Matt King, 4. Anthony Quinn, 5. Steve Turner, 6. Greg Inglis, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Ian Donnelly, 9. Cameron Smith, 10. Garret Crossman, 11. Jeremy Smith, 12. Matt Rua, 13. Dallas Johnson. Interchange: 14. Will Chambers, 15. Russell Aitken, 16. Ben Cross, 17. Jeff Lima, 18. Sam Tagataese, 19. James Aubusson.