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  1. #16
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Titans cult hero to play 100th NRL game against Bulldogs
    https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au

    IT’S something Anthony Don never thought he’d be discussing.

    The Titans cult hero will line up in his 100th NRL game tomorrow, a mark he never thought he’d achieve.

    The Grafton product, who didn’t believe he would even be good enough to play in the state league for Burleigh, was amazed to have made his NRL debut, let alone be on the cusp of celebrating 100 games for the one club.

    Don’s is a story of perseverance as much as talent.

    It’s about hard work and dedication and enjoying the ride along the way.

    And it’s a reminder in an era in which schoolboys are contracted to clubs in their teens and have never had a job or life experience outside of football, that rugby league is only a game — and that playing in the NRL is a privilege and treasure to be enjoyed.

    “I guess that’s just part of my personality — I don’t really rate myself that much, at footy or anything,” Don said.

    Asked if he ever thought he’d be talking about playing 100 NRL games, Don was almost embarrassed.

    “Of course not. I didn’t think I was good enough for Burleigh,” he said.

    “Obviously it’s an honour and something I’ll look back on when I’m finished as a great achievement.

    “I’m happy to play 100 for the Titans, it’s a great milestone that I’m proud of.”

    It came about fortuitously really.

    Don’s breakout 2010 season for the Grafton Ghosts attracted the attention of Queensland Cup clubs as he scored a record 40 tries in the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League competition, along with 71 goals in a 302-point season haul.

    “There were a couple of Queensland Cup teams that were making some contact through coaching staff at Grafton and friends of friends but they were teams like Redcliffe and Norths Brisbane and I didn’t really want to move to Redcliffe,” Don said.

    “I thought the easiest option would be to go to the Gold Coast.

    “My brother was living here and I had a lot of friends here from Grafton, so I contacted Burleigh and I had a meeting with the coach Paul Bradley and the CEO Damien Driscoll and had a conversation with them.

    “And I think my mum may have sent some newspaper clippings behind my back.”

    Others may have believed in Don but his own conviction took a bit longer.

    “I remember my train of thought was: ‘There’s only two teams on the Gold Coast, I can’t be in the best two teams’ worth of players on the Coast’,” he said.

    “But I thought I had to give it a crack because that was the next progression.”

    A strong season with Burleigh led to Don being given a train-and-trial deal with the Titans and while he arrived at just 89kg, he grabbed his chance and hasn’t looked back since making his debut against Parramatta in Round 6, 2013.

    The grandson of former Kangaroos tourist and coaching great Ron Willey, Don feels privileged to be making a living doing something he loves.

    “I’d be playing regardless. If I wasn’t playing footy, I’d probably be playing AFL or I’d just be playing any sport really,” he said.

    “But footy’s the sport I grew up playing and I’ve got family tradition in the sport, so it was always going to be my No. 1 pick and I’m lucky to have done what I’ve done so far.”

    Don will turn 31 at the end of the season but hopes his late start in the NRL could extend his shelf life, hopefully with the Titans, with whom he has opened negotiations for next year.

    “My body’s fresh at the moment and I could definitely see myself playing for the next two or three years, no doubt,” he said.

    “It just depends what happens with injuries and form and things like that.”
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  2. #17
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    Titans must overcome Belmore Oval emotion: James
    Neil Cadigan https://www.nrl.com/

    Gold Coast skipper Ryan James has played down the relevance of Saturday's clash with Canterbury prop David Klemmer, who gained what could have been James' spot in the NSW line-up for Origin I before a late change of heart by selectors.

    Yet there is no doubt Blues coach Brad Fittler will be watching James' performance closely against Klemmer and the under-fire Aaron Woods as a genuine test of whether James is ready for the Origin arena.

    James will go into the Belmore Oval clash without Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace because of suspension, and interchange prop Max King who won't play again this season after being booked in for a shoulder reconstruction.

    That means Jack Stockwell [who starts] and Morgan Boyle, whose only football since round eight has been a run off the bench in the Intrust Super Cup, fill the void alongside an under-pressure James.

    James says he will undoubtedly seek to get the measure of Klemmer and Woods, but says dealing with the extra passion the Bulldogs will show during their once-a-year appearance at their historic suburban ground is the biggest focus.

    "Brenko Lee spoke to us about Belmore being the Bulldogs' spiritual home and how they grow an extra leg there, like the Tigers at Leichhardt, so it's going to be a tough challenge," James said.

    "Woods and Klemmer are both world class players, Australia and NSW reps.

    "But it was the same having the Burgess boys running at us last week. So we will try to take the same plan into this game and try to calm their middle down.

    "It is always good to go out there against the best front-rowers. But I will go out there to play my best game and that will be the goal, to try to get over both of them.

    "That's what I try to do every game, get over the top of your opposing numbers and that this game won't be any different."

    James said the Bulldogs' form is better than their position on the ladder indicates and they will be much tougher to beat at Belmore than at ANZ Stadium. And former Bulldog, now Titans centre Brenko Lee, has warned his teammates of that.

    "Brenko warned that they will came out with a bit of emotion and we'll have to weather the storm and get into the grind with them," James said.

    "They have lost six games by just six points or less and have been in the contest just about every game. And we go down there a couple of players short, so we know what we're in for."

    Meanwhile, Titans coach Garth Brennan says the club will look at promoting players from within their feeder teams Burleigh Bears and Tweed Heads Seagulls to fill their 30-player roster by the June 30 deadline, rather than look for token signings from other clubs to meet the NRL's requirements.

    With forward Joe Greenwood released to return to England to take up a contract with Wigan, the Titans will be back to 27 players [although they have two on their second-tier cap].
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  3. #18
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    Im optimistic for this one. Bulldogs will either be pulling out the stops for their departing stars or will roll over due to the shambles at their club. As i say before every game i'd love to see: Fast start, no silly penalities, no dropped balls and convert opportunities. Can we not start every game on the backfoot and for gods sake can we have 13 men on the field for the full 80 minutes!

  4. #19

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    Need a win today and we've got a big chance but not if we don't hold the ball and if we keep giving away dumb penalties. There's no wonder we leak points and can't score when we have the ball, we are too buggered from defending. Reckon James will have a massive game with RCG now out for Origin 2 and the rest of the forwards will need to follow the way and lift against the likes of Klemmer, Jackson and Faitala-Mariner. Hopefully can get the W for Don's 100.

  5. #20
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    Surely our players are as sick of losing as we are.
    I really don’t want to be on here tonight having another night of lamenting.
    We are all Nice humans and deserve a break.

  6. #21
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    Was talking to my mum, huge Titans fan, said if we don't win this we can't win anything. And she points out that the game is at Belmore and the Bulldogs will probably rise. No easy runs for us.

    Love to be there though. I hope they continue Titans matches at Belmore and I can get a piece of that one day.
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  7. #22
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    Front of the Bully

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  8. #23
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    Titans heavyweights celebrate cult hero’s 100th game
    https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/

    ANTHONY Don’s century for the Titans is a celebration for the late bloomer.

    In a sport where talented athletes are identified and developed from a young age, Don’s NRL debut in 2013 at the age of 25 was an aberration.

    But his dedication to the game he loves has won the admiration of his teammates and Titans coaching staff, who have praised the cult hero ahead of his 100th match against the Bulldogs in Sydney on Saturday.

    Titans captain Ryan James, a close friend of Don’s said the winger had not expected to even make the NRL level.

    “I think he was stoked to get one game but for someone to come through and debut late and play 100 games is a massive achievement,” James said.

    “For him to do what he has, debut late and then just keep playing, it’s a massive achievement for him and

    “He’s a massive part of our team. Over the past six years, you could probably count the number of balls he’s dropped on one hand.

    “We know he’s always just going to be that stable player for us and he always has been.

    “He just seems to get the job done. He’s actually quite athletic — although he doesn’t look it — and he’s a great finisher.

    “He just brings morale around the team and he’s a great mate really.”

    Don won the Paul Broughton Medal as the Titans’ best and fairest last year and James said his success after being outside the development system was a great example for other kids.

    “He did it in reverse — he went and did his Uni degree and then went and taught at schools — and he’s just another Northern Rivers kid playing for the team that was produced here for us,” James said.

    “I’m probably not more proud of anyone that’s reached 100 games than I am of him.”

    Titans coach Garth Brennan said Don’s story was a great example for those dreaming of an NRL career.

    “He’s a local guy who came good later in his career and it’s one of those stories that everyone loves,” Brennan said.

    “It’s a feel-good story for someone to get a crack later in their career and to go on to play 100 first grade games is a testament to Donny, that’s for sure. It’s an important thing that if you believe in it and you want to work hard and you never give up, then good things can happen to those people.

    “Donny never gave up, he kept trying hard and enjoying his footy and things have come for him and now he’s enjoying his 100th game.”

    Don hoped he could provide motivation for others wanting to follow their sporting dreams.

    “It could be a good thing in the long run,” he said.

    “It might be able to prolong your career like mine will.

    “I wasn’t making any of those (junior) teams, I came a completely different path.

    “I’m essentially getting towards the back end of my career.

    “Other people, they might be thinking: ‘What am I going to do and what’s the next chapter in my life going to be?’

    “But I’ve got a teaching degree and I’m studying business so hopefully things will fall into place when that time comes.

    “I just realises how lucky I am.”
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  9. #24
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    Proctor finally found a hole.

  10. #25
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    Haaaaa Gordon nearly blows the try and does a streak to score

  11. #26
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    PUT EM TO THE SWORD! SHOW SOME STEEL!

    Moejoe: "REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!"
    TITANS, DIEHARDS, WARRINGTON WOLVES, MAROONS, KANGAROOS, HONG KONG THUNDER

  12. #27
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    Looking good so far gang.
    PUT EM TO THE SWORD! SHOW SOME STEEL!

    Moejoe: "REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!"
    TITANS, DIEHARDS, WARRINGTON WOLVES, MAROONS, KANGAROOS, HONG KONG THUNDER

  13. #28
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    Even the commentators "what do you need to do to get an advantage as a Titan?"

    Good easy shift for a double for Gordon.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DIEHARD View Post
    Looking good so far gang.
    You're mum would be pleased.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunctionBlock View Post
    You're mum would be pleased.
    Sure would. She is a passionate fan, loves league. Also sewed me more than one big Titans flag.

    I'm multi-screening HK v Japan RL and Bulldogs v Titans now.
    PUT EM TO THE SWORD! SHOW SOME STEEL!

    Moejoe: "REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!"
    TITANS, DIEHARDS, WARRINGTON WOLVES, MAROONS, KANGAROOS, HONG KONG THUNDER

  15. #30
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    Great run by Gordon. Must be 70-80m there. I can feel my endorphins rising.
    PUT EM TO THE SWORD! SHOW SOME STEEL!

    Moejoe: "REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!"
    TITANS, DIEHARDS, WARRINGTON WOLVES, MAROONS, KANGAROOS, HONG KONG THUNDER


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