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Thread: 2015 Review

  1. #1
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    Default 2015 Review

    Hi guys ... it's getting towards that time of the year again and so I have had a shot at a draft of this coming year's preview. I won't be posting it until after the 9's but thought you could all have a chop at it until then. All comments and abuse welcome.
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    Titans 2015 Preview

    So much has been written this off-season about the Titans' new approach and a re-grouping of the club's luminaries who have vowed to focus on getting everything right. Well take it from me, there are many out there in Titansland who are just a little skeptical about what the new vision will look like. A similar playing roster, a similar management team and a familiar coach, albeit one that has been promoted to become the grand fromage, all bode for a similar outcome. Is this what we can expect from 2015?

    After four fruitless years of orchestrating awefully unattractive rugby league, John Cartwright was finally put out of his misery and the axe also fell on the axe et al. Surprisingly for some, one of the chief architects of the club’s woes, majority shareholder Michael Searle, was not discarded but rather swept under the rug from where he is expected to jump out singing Kumbayah as soon as the club shows any hint of a positive form reversal.

    In fairness though, the 2014 season did begin well with ex-Coach Cartwright having the team leading the competition for an amazing eight rounds. Even while holding such a lofty position on the league table, every rugby league fan who had witnessed the stumbling, bumbling performances of the team predicted that it would come crumbling, tumbling down. And that it did, to finish in the now-familiar bottom quarter of the ladder.

    True fans point towards the last round win against the ‘Dogs as evidence that there is life in the old girl yet and they may be right. However, the aging sheila that finished the season has been replaced by a spritelier bit of fluff for 2015. Gone are nearly 1,000 games of NRL experience and in their places have come some youth and vigor but will it be enough? Probably not for 2015 but there is increasing evidence that this may just be the platform from which the phoenix can rise.

    Things haven’t been made any easier with the club, at the time of writing, not having found a naming rights sponsor. That task hasn’t been helped by the performances of key personalities within the club. A co-captain getting caught demonstrating his version of 'Wee of the Never Never' and other various alcohol-related misdemeanors have kept the players in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

    The 2015 forward pack looks more balanced with the aging motors of Luke Bailey and Ash Harrison being replaced by fresher legs. Club stalwart Mark ‘Hands’ Minichiello has taken off for the rainier pastures of Hull as has the fragile talent of Albert Kelly, human turnstile Steve Michaels and the underwhelming Maurice Blair. Many were disappointed to farewell Brad Takairangi but the silence was deafening when it was announced that the next big thing Paul Carter was done for DUI the second time in six months and de-registered.

    The club has staged a mini fight-back of sorts that began with the mid-season snaring of troubled centre James Roberts in 2014. Roberts provided a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark period for the club. Perhaps that was the turning of the corner for the Titans and it does appear that Coach Henry has backed himself with the snaring of fullback Josh Hoffman, journeyman Eddy Pettybourne, late-bloomer Davin Crampton, live-wire rake Kierran Moseley, young gun backrower Lachlan Burr and the well-credentialed Matt Robinson.

    Apart from the acquisition of Hoffman, there has been much fanfare about the development of halfback Kane Elgey and with him are a likely bunch of tyros led by Christian Hazard and Jamal Fogarty.

    There can be no doubt that the key to a more successful 2015 will be the efforts of the senior players Nate Myles, Greg Bird and Dave Taylor with the hope that they will each provide a better effort than what they produced in 2014.

    Where they can win it

    In previous seasons the Titans have relied on a siege mentality to keep them on track, yet as 2015 nears it has become clear that Coach Henry is not going down that pathway. Gone are the clichés from the coach as the new master pulls no punches in his assessment of the team’s progress.

    Since its inception the club has suffered from not having a stable and competitive spine. Titans fans are hoping to see Hoffman, an injury-free Aiden Sezer partnered with Elgey in the halves behind a dynamic Moseley, all leading the charge towards a brighter future but don't hold your breath. Certainly, the forward pack boasting Myles, Bird, Taylor, Luke Douglas, Pettybourne and young guns Ryan James, Robinson and Burr should be enough to pave their way.

    Where they may struggle

    The antithesis of the young vigorous spine listed above is the stable but predictable ‘old firm’ of William Zillman, Daniel Mortimer and Beau Falloon. They could not be accused of turning it up but none would make the starting 13 at any other club. Sezer could be added to that list but has youth on his side and deserves another chance. Coach Henry has his work cut out to either inspire the incumbents to change their ways or to herald-in a new era.

    History has a bad habit of repeating itself on the glitter strip. Although the media and the NRL have been very kind in their assessment of the club’s front office, there is little doubt that local fans have voted with their feet and where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    Although 2015 will ultimately be judged on the performance of the players, it is unlikely that the club could take another big hit to its credibility as a viable NRL franchise. Already operating from borrowed offices at the local council, renting training facilities from a private school and working from a poorly air-conditioned container is hardly confidence-building in the fickle eyes of the corporate world.

    Match winner

    With a changing roster featuring star players all in non-pivotal positions who don’t lead the team around, the 'most influential' vote goes to Neil Henry, the coach. For too long the Titans have been criticized for playing boring, one-dimensional rugby league as compared to the ultra-quick play-the-balls and razzle-dazzle passing that were their trademark. If Henry can rekindle the passion in his team and the Gold Coast community in general then CBus Super Stadium could return to being the fortress that it was.

    Rookies to watch

    All eyes are on Cloncurry dynamo Moseley. His first task is to depose club 2014 player of the year Falloon and then to show that his one top-grade game for Penrith in 2014 wasn’t a flash in the pan. Also of particular interest is former Australian Schoolboys' star and 2014 NYC player of the year Elgey. The development of these two players in particular holds the key to the Titans for many years to come.

    The big plays

    In this article last season, it was predicted that the club's inaugural coach would be deposed. This year, the club worrying the finals in September is as unlikely as Scott Prince publically publishing his tax return … but then again stranger things have happened.

    Ins and Outs

    In: Josh Hoffman (Brisbane), David Hala (Brisbane), Eddy Pettybourne (Wigan), Matt Robsinson (Penrith), Kieran Moseley (Penrith), Ryan Simpkins (Penrith), Lachlan Burr (Canterbury), Davin Crampton (Cairns).

    Out: Luke Bailey (retired), Ashley Harrison (retired), Mark Minichiello (Hull), Albert Kelly (Hull KR), Maurice Blair (Hull KR), Steve Michaels (Hull), Brad Takairangi (Parramatta), Cody Nelson (Parramatta), Luke Page (Canberra), Sam Irwin (Featherstone), Jahrome Hughes (Townsville), Beau Henry (St. George), Tom Kingston (joined army), Paul Carter (de-registered).

    Injuries: all players available for Round 1.

    Likely team Round 1 v Tigers (CBus Super Stadium, Robina)

    1. Josh HOFFMAN
    2. David MEAD
    3. James ROBERTS
    4. Davin CRAMPTON
    5. Anthony DON
    6. Aiden SEZER
    7. Daniel MORTIMER
    8. Luke DOUGLAS
    9. Beau FALLOON
    10. Nate MYLES
    11. David TAYLOR
    12. Matt ROBINSON
    13. Greg BIRD

    14. Matt WHITE
    15. Ryan JAMES
    16. Eddy PETTYBOURNE
    17. William ZILLMAN

    Other squad members (alphabetical order)

    18. Caleb Binge, 19. Lachlan Burr, 20. Jamie Dowling, 21. Kane Elgey, 22. Kalifa Faifai Loa 23. Jamal Fogarty, 24. Kevin Gordon, 25. David Hala, 26. Christian Hazard, 27. Shaun Hudson, 28. Mark Ioane, 29. Kierran Moseley, 30. Ben Ridge, 31. Ryan Simpkins, 32. Matt Srama, 33. Brad Tighe.

    Train and trial

    Jai Ingram (Brisbane Norths), Agnatius Paasi (Warriors NSW Cup), Leva Li (Parramatta NYC), Khan Ahwang (Burleigh Heads), Damian Sironen (Tweed Heads).
    Last edited by Titanic; 26-01-15 at 10:13 AM. Reason: collective advice
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  2. #2
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    Will give a comprehensive read soon - but just quickly you'll need to add Leva Li to the trialists as well, he's from Eels U20s

    - - - Updated - - -

    And Agnatius is from Warriors NSW Cup
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    Sorry for my ignorance Titanic but I am missing something. You say you wont be posting this until we have commented but you have posted it here. What are you posting it on when we have commented. Probably a dumb question - sorry if I am missing the obvious.
    Otherwise I found it a good read and probably (regrettably) pretty accurate. Depressing in parts but accurate.

  4. #4
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    Sorry MT, my bad, each year LU ask me to write this for their Forum and I ask our mob to critique it so it reflects our opinion rather than some outsider's.

    And thanks HS ... updated.
    Last edited by Titanic; 21-01-15 at 09:24 PM.
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

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    Really good read and I think you've been accurate in representing the general consensus among supporters.

    One little thing - I think the expression is "live-wire" as opposed to life-wire (when describing Moseley)

    I'd be tempted to add something about Roberts in there in the final paragraph of the first section - he was the only player who people expected anything of on attack and gave us that glimmer of hope when he got the opportunity. Popular player amongst the more 'casual' fan too. Could tie in well with the "mini fight back" part you've got there in reference to our recruitment.

    Overall great job as per usual and I didn't have to get the dictionary out too many times which is a rarity when reading your posts mate
    "My god I am shredded. I can't believe I got to this point in my life where literally every person that sees me is saying words like "mirin" and "arnie, that you?". It's boring, sure. But it's part of my life."-DavidBouveng
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    First Grader K2G's Avatar
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    Great write up mate. It's pretty much the best, most accurate Titans story I've read this off-season.

    For the sake of being constructive (and pedantic / trivial), I think 'as being a viable concern' in the last paragraph of where they may struggle is confusing/unnecessary and 'FAIFAI LOA' should probably be spaced apart.

    I would also be surprised if Don missed out on selection in round 1, and have a sneaking suspicion Hazard will inch out Crampton for that last bench spot... but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

    Sorry to sound like a pr*ck!

    Again, great write up

  7. #7
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    Thanks K2G … I have edited the text and will leave the final team make-up until the last possible minute for obvious reasons … great input.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    Titans 2015 Review...
    Cheers Mate, I needed a good laugh after a shocker of a day..

  9. #9
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    lol ... i wondered if anybody would notice
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

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    Super Moderator TITAN PETE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titanic View Post
    lol ... i wondered if anybody would notice
    Nice way to get us all thinking about the upcoming season..

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by K2G View Post
    I would also be surprised if Don missed out on selection in round 1, and have a sneaking suspicion Hazard will inch out Crampton for that last bench spot... but I suppose that's neither here nor there.


    Again, great write up
    I agree with your Don comments i think he plays no matter who's in the side & i think Mortimer will be the bench player ahead of Hazard when Elgey starts @ 7.. but i'm really looking forward to watching Christian play in the 9's
    #itaintweaktospeak

  11. #11
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    I enjoyed reading that, cheers!

    However...

    I think you are incorrect in stating that Mortimer wouldn't get a start at any other club. He'd get a walk up start at the Raiders or the Sharks and would probably start games with the Storm.

  12. #12
    Kangaroo Titanic's Avatar
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    Thanks for th comments fellas and keep them coming. I will not change the teamn listed here yet but rest assured before I do post on LU I will reflect the majority's opinions (as long as they agree with mine).
    Four reasons to escape to Queensland: Sun, Surf, Sand & the Titans.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2G View Post
    Great write up mate. It's pretty much the best, most accurate Titans story I've read this off-season.

    For the sake of being constructive (and pedantic / trivial), I think 'as being a viable concern' in the last paragraph of where they may struggle is confusing/unnecessary and 'FAIFAI LOA' should probably be spaced apart.

    I would also be surprised if Don missed out on selection in round 1, and have a sneaking suspicion Hazard will inch out Crampton for that last bench spot... but I suppose that's neither here nor there.

    Sorry to sound like a pr*ck!

    Again, great write up
    I'll be very surprised to see Hazard get a start in first grade this yr.

    Don will get time in the top grade again but most likely through injuries
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    Nice write up Titanic. It was a good read, better than any actual journo can write!

    My team for round 1 at this current point:
    1. Hoffman
    2. Don
    3. Roberts
    4. Crampton (I know it will most likely be Zillman)
    5. Mead
    6. Sezer
    7. Mortimer
    8. Douglas
    9. Falloon
    10. Myles
    11. Robinson
    12. Taylor
    13. Bird

    14. Hala
    15. James
    16. Pettybourne
    17. Burr/Elgey/Moseley/Hazard

    I am really hoping Don gets a starting spot come round 1 as he was really good for us last year. I can see Zilly being in there somewhere *sigh* so it will most likely be wing or centre (hopefully not FB). Crampton has looked good at training so the trials will be a telling point to see if he brings that to games. I am a big fan of Robinson so I think he should be a starting backrower as he is a workhorse and very fit for a forward. Pettybourne, James and Hala bring size off the bench. Hazard or Elgey can come off the bench to give them some NRL experience before becoming the starting half. Mosley could also be there and hopefully replaces Falloon sometime in the year.

    Anyway, again nice write up mate

  15. #15

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    Nice write up titanic. shows a depth of knowledge about players in and around our team that most journos and articles gloss over in favour of cliches and old reputations.


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