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  1. #1
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
    Brisbane / HK

    Default 2018 Reflections

    Gold Coast Titans’ disappointment at missing NRL finals tempered by potential for 2019

    PACK leader Jarrod Wallace says the Titans’ disappointment at missing the NRL finals is tempered by excitement at potential for next year’s campaign.

    Gold Coast’s season will end after Saturday night’s clash against the Cowboys, with the Titans able to finish as high as 11th place on the ladder depending on other results.

    It’s the club’s second successive season outside the eight after their push into the playoffs in 2016 but Wallace can see light on the horizon after the debut of several exciting youngsters this season.

    “It’s very disappointing we’re not playing finals, we train so hard to get to that spot where we want to play and unfortunately it wasn’t to be,” Wallace said.

    “But I think we’ve done a lot of good things this year where we can really build for next year and we’ve got a lot of young talent that we’ve found that probably wouldn’t have played as many games if we hadn’t had the year that we have.

    “It’s really good because they’ve showed us what they’ve got and that’s only going to help them going into next year.”

    With injuries to players including Max King and Morgan Boyle — among the finds of 2017 — the Titans were forced to blood youngsters including Moeaki Fotuaika and AJ Brimson, who have kept more fancied teammates out of the side.

    “I definitely think it’s building nicely, the depth,” Wallace said.

    “Last year we probably had a couple of boys — you look at Maxy King, Morgan Boyle, Tyronne Roberts-Davis — who probably wouldn’t have played at all or maybe around Origin time or if there were some injuries and got one or two games.

    “They ended up having to play (several) games because we didn’t have the full depth there but that made them better players.

    “And then you look this year and guys like Moe (Fotuaika), they weren’t even in that 17 but now they’ve brought themselves into that 17 and they’re hungry.

    “Obviously AJ (Brimson) has brought himself up and we’ve got a lot of young guys coming through and then there’ll be more guys there next year, so it’s really exciting.”

    While Wallace again played Origin this season, he said the season had been a learning experience after arriving at the Titans with few expectations at the start of 2017.

    “Obviously last year there was no expectation, I just went in, played footy and did what I did,” he said.

    “The this year I probably had a little bit more expectation on me and I learnt a lot about myself and my body and the way that I need to go about the rest of my career.

    “I think it was a real learning curve and stepping stone for me.

    “I really enjoyed it for other areas. Last year it was so different, it was a new club, it was easy, I just came in.

    “Whereas this year, my expectation on myself and from other players was high … (that need) to perform at a consistent level every week was a lot higher than it was last year.

    “And I really found out a lot about myself and where I want to go next year and future years in my career.

    “I’m really excited to be going into next year because I know it can only be better.”

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!


  2. #2
    Administrator DIEHARD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Brisbane / HK


    Titans rookies AJ Brimson and Moeaki Fotuaika pave the way for future NRL teens

    DEPARTING Titans head of performance Hayden Knowles believes AJ Brimson and Moeaki Fotuaika have set the standard for future Gold Coast talent wanting to crack the NRL in their teens.

    Keebra Park products Brimson, 19, and Fotuaika, 18, have had sensational rookie seasons to fill fans with hope and their success is no stroke of luck, Knowles declared.

    “The first impression I had of those two guys on the very first day was their character and their competitiveness,” he said. “The first running session they wanted to win it, the first boxing session they threw themselves in and wanted to spar the biggest bloke.”

    “The first wrestling session Moe actually beat Ryan James in the final, it was an elimination battle, basically the last man standing, and Moe won.

    “Everything that those guys did, they have now set the tone that if you want to work like that, you too can play when you are 18 years old.

    “Those two have set a whole new standard of what is possible at the club, especially under Garth (Brennan, coach). He will give a kid a go who displays that character.”

    Brimson has established himself as part of the Titans’ long-term spine either at fullback or five-eighth.

    Prop Fotuaika’s efforts, meanwhile, saw him rapidly rise from train-and-trial status to a top 30 deal through to the end of 2021.

    Between them, the pair ran for 351m and made eight tackle busts in a 10-8 last-start loss to Melbourne.

    Knowles announced this week he will leave his Titans post to return to his family base on the NSW Central Coast. The father-of-three is excited to spend more time with 12-year-old son Bailey, 11-year-old daughter Ella and nine-year-old son Owen.

    Also on the NSW Origin staff, he recently joined Blues coach Brad Fittler in meeting with Central Coast Mariners sporting director Mike Phelan – Sir Alex Ferguson’s former right-hand man – but insisted he is not Mariners-bound.

    “My own best learning experience was a one-hour lunch with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2002,” Knowles explained of the opportunity.

    “I actually don’t have a job. I just feel great that I have made the decision for the right reasons and I will just trust that everything will work out.”

    His last match with the Gold Coast will be their Round 25 clash with the Cowboys on Saturday night.

    Originally Posted by Moejoe
    REMEMBER!!!! SLIP - SLOP - SLAP in the sun. Skin Cancer is a growing problem. It could happen to anyone!!


  3. #3


    Another year done and dusted and once again no finals appearance, but I thought we had a year full of promise and a lack of experience and depth. Disappointing to finish 14th, as we were quite close in so many games this year:

    Lost to Sharks (finished 4th) by 1
    Lost to Souths (finished 3rd) by 2
    Lost to Roosters (finished 1st) by 8
    Lost to Panthers (finished 5th) by 1
    Lost to Storm (finished 2nd) by 2

    All of these games show that we are not far off, but are just lacking how to close out games (probably due to Ash needing mentoring too and the fact that AJ was still learning too). In all of those games listed above we were still a chance and chasing points with 10-15 minutes to go but we started to panic and thus the silly errors and overthinking took over due to lack of experience. And a couple of blowouts against the Donkeys and Dragons didn't help our for and against - we could be easily 12th.

    A couple of positives to take out of the year:
    -The emergence of some young guns which will lead us into the future and hopefully a resurgence into the top 8. Guys like Arrow (a future club captain for mine), Sami, Lee, AJ and MoFo showed that with a bit of patience and development, they will all be stars of the future. AJ in particular has blown me away. We need to lock these guys in.

    -The determination and fight we showed in games this year, especially in the last month. In games like our last two v Cowboys and Storm we fought until the very end and with a bit of luck we may have had the opposite result. And our comeback against Manly was something special. As I alluded to earlier, we are a bit of experience and a couple of cool heads away from really being a threat.

    -We had little problem scoring points this year and I thought we were a lot more exciting and threatening in attack, especially with AJ linking in at fullback now off Taylor and then Sami and Don going try for try. We still have work to do (especially in defence) but at least one half of our skillset saw improvement this year.

    Bring on 2019 I say. I think all of us get used to trotting out "there's always next year" as we have for the last 7 years at least. But I definitely think (and have my fingers crossed) that we will be a solid side next year if we can sort out of defence and if our younger players (particularly Ash) can have some mentoring over the off season. Add Boyd and possibly Peachey to that team and we will hopefully surprise a few in 2019. Hopefully being the key word.

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