Young guns shine in game
DESPITE the absence of captain Roy Asotasi, enforcer Michael Crocker and new recruits Dave Taylor and Sam Burgess, South Sydney’s second string forward pack more than held their own in the Rabbitohs’ trial match against Gold Coast at Coffs Harbour on Saturday night.
Facing a more experienced line-up, the Rabbitohs did well to only lose 28-22 to a Titans side led superbly by a sharp looking Scott Prince.
Scores were level after 60 minutes before the Titans scored two late tries in the space five minutes to give themselves enough breathing space over their plucky opponent. New South Sydney coach John Lang admitted that he was impressed with the way the club’s lesser lights handled themselves while making the step up to the top level.
“We had some young guys come on like John Kaifoto and he was coming off the bench for the Bears last year and quite a few of them made their debut at this level tonight and I thought it was a good step in the right direction,” Lang said.
The crowd of 5500 was brought to life by a Luke Capewell double but it was the controlling influence that Prince had over the Titans’ outfit that proved the difference between the two teams.
A week after playing for the Indigenous All Stars team, Prince showed the benefit of such a high standard hit-out early in the season by creating two tries with deftly weighted kicks to the left side before scoring on his own in the second half.
Titans’ coach John Cartwright said that he was more than happy with the way that Prince combined with new five-eighth Greg Bird in their first outing as a combination.
“I thought Bird grew as the game went on and Prince pulled the strings like he usually does,” Cartwright said.
“That was probably the most pleasing aspect of the night the way those two worked with each other.”