View Full Version : Keegan Hipgrave - Player Discussion

23-05-20, 04:38 PM
Young Titan opens up on ‘anger management’

TITANS enforcer Keegan Hipgrave admits he has undertaken his own version of “anger management” as the aggressive forward prepares to take the field for the first time in almost a year when the Gold Coast take on the Cowboys in the season re-started next Friday.

Hipgrave has not played for the Titans since June 9 last year when the 23-year-old was concussed in the Gold Coast’s 26-18 win over the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

It was Hipgrave’s third concussion of the season, leading to an extended period on the sideline as medical experts exercised caution in light of recent research and discoveries around head injuries in sports.

That lead to a long and lonely road back for Hipgrave, who trained mostly by himself while meeting benchmarks set by neurologists until he was finally cleared to resume full-contact training with the team as he looked to reignite his NRL career.

That final step – running out to play with the Titans – looked like being taken in Round 3 when the Titans were scheduled to play the Broncos.

But then the coronavirus pandemic arrived, suspending the NRL competition, and adding more frustration and wait time to Hipgrave’s return.

“It has definitely been a long six to nine months, but I am so excited to be where I am at the moment,” Hipgrave said. “I am so excited to be back training with everyone and, hopefully, Friday week I will be back on the park.

“I was so close coming into Round 3, and then when they called it, I was obviously a bit disappointed.

“But I think those extra couple of weeks in the isolation period gave me a really good chance to nail all the little things. I looked after my body and came back really fit. If anything, that little isolation was a blessing in disguise for me.”

A fearless and ferocious defender, Hipgrave admits he will have to temper his kamikaze-style approach to rugby league to ensure he protects his head, keeps himself out of harm’s way and keeps himself on the field.

“It will definitely be managed,” Hipgrave says of his trademark aggression. “For me it is all about being competitive and being intense. But what I have learned over the last six months is that it is all about being effective.

“That is what I will be working on, and what I have been working on for the last six to nine months. Everything that I do is about being effective, and doing the best I can for the team.”

Coach Justin Holbrook will name his Titans team to take on the Cowboys in the rescheduled Round 3 game on Tuesday, and a fully fit and firing Hipgrave is sure to be in contention for a spot on the edge, particularly with Bryce Cartwright likely to miss out after missing a week of training while waiting for a vaccination exemption.

“I played most of 2018 on the edge, and I have had a couple of god conversations with Justin,” Hipgrave said.

“I was really excited about playing in the middle, but I am equally excited about playing on the edge.

“Really it is just doing the best for the team and what Justin wants.

“There is a lot of competition for spots, and I think it is really healthy competition because it makes everyone train harder.

“Our opposed sessions have just been getting more and more intense and more and more physical – which is great. It lets everyone push each other that bit harder. To get a spot in the team next week, I will be beyond excited.

“I have been waiting many months for this opportunity to come and worked really hard to get to the place where I am at, so to be in that team, I will be stoked.”

08-06-20, 10:31 AM
What a game to make his first try!