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  1. #1

    Default Young guns put forward pack on notice with big seasons

    Gold Coast’s whopping injury toll during 2019 has left the Club in good shape for next season, with some of the Titans rookie players graduating into senior members of the playing group.

    Long-term injuries to key forwards Ryan James, Shannon Boyd and Keegan Hipgrave last season meant the Titans had to rely heavily on inexperienced forwards like 19-year-old Moeaki Fotuaika and 21-year-old Jai Whitbread.

    Whitbread had one game under his belt last pre-season. He now starts preparations for the 2020 campaign with 19 games to his credit, as well as the Titans’ Rookie of the Year Award.

    Despite completing only his second year in the NRL, Fotuaika now has 37 games of experience behind him, and he is still a teenager.

    Fotuaika has also emerged as a forward leader, playing through the agony of a broken wrist, torn meniscus in his knee and syndesmosis injury in his ankle to win the Paul Broughton Medal as the Titans 2019 Player of the Year.

    Backrower Bryce Cartwright said the emergence of Fotuaika and Whitbread as established NRL players, and the return of the Club’s injured stars will increase competition for spots in their forward pack under new coach Justin Holbrook.

    “We lost a lot of experience there during the year, but in saying that, a few of the young boys probably got more minutes than they would have,” Cartwright said. “Guys like Moe and Jai Whitbread I thought had an outstanding year.

    “Those guys probably wouldn’t have as many minutes as they had to play (were it not for the injuries). Moe has had to have two surgeries on account of playing all those minutes and how hard he played. It is guys like those that are going to put the club in good stead.”

    After spending time at five-eighth, lock and second-row during 2019, Cartwright still sees his playing future under Holbrook as an edge forward.

    And despite improved performances last season, Cartwright says he is still “a mile away” from the level he wants to play at with the Titans.

    “Definitely in the backrow, on the edge,” he said about his preferred playing position. “I just need to work hard in the pre-season and come back in some good shape and just keep improving.

    “I thought I improved a fair bit this year, but still a mile away from where I should be.

    “I am just going to keep working hard and come back in good shape and put my best foot forward each day.”

    Cartwright said there was an air of excitement among the playing group about the arrival of Holbrook and new Senior Assistant Coach Jim Dymock.

    “Everyone is already really excited. I think everyone is jumping at the chance to get back here and kick off a new year already and to meet the new coach as well,” he said.

    “Not just myself but a lot of other boys here play an attacking brand of footy, so it is going to be exciting to see what (Holbrook) brings.

    “Not too many of us know him, so it is going to be exciting. Everyone is starting fresh, and everyone is looking forward to it.”

    https://www.titans.com.au/news/2019/...h-big-seasons/

  2. #2
    Captain Mr Bods's Avatar
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    “Whopping injury toll”. I don’t like this messaging. Sounds like excuses.
    We had what I’d consider an average year with injuries.

    Take the rose colour glasses off Titans and confront our issues

  3. #3

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    Bugger you Bodsie! You got me a beauty!! The penny has finally dropped...you're taking the piss! Now that is funny and exactly what we need. Hahaha!!

    I'll join in.

    A psych student (lol) might see your above statement as cognitive dissonance.

    Weren't you on the "get rid of Ferris...we're all fat and injured" bandwagon?

    Hahaha! My apologies for not recognising your humour earlier...you funny bugger!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    What did everyone make of Sam Stone this year? Do you think he can evolve further as a player?

  4. #4
    One Clubman JunctionBlock's Avatar
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    I look at it a little differently, the blokes who have long term contracts didn't perform, those fighting for extensions and upgrades played extremely well and played injured.

    Don't think Sam would make 1st grade in any other team than the Titans.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by JunctionBlock View Post
    I look at it a little differently, the blokes who have long term contracts didn't perform, those fighting for extensions and upgrades played extremely well and played injured.

    Don't think Sam would make 1st grade in any other team than the Titans.
    Do you think Sam shows enough to build on his game though? Under a decent coach, I think he may become quite a solid player.

    Am I the only one that thinks he looks like a bigger version of Nathan Cleary? It's the chin I reckon...LOL!!

  6. #6
    Captain Mr Bods's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menoitios View Post
    Bugger you Bodsie! You got me a beauty!! The penny has finally dropped...you're taking the piss! Now that is funny and exactly what we need. Hahaha!!

    I'll join in.

    A psych student (lol) might see your above statement as cognitive dissonance.

    Weren't you on the "get rid of Ferris...we're all fat and injured" bandwagon?

    Hahaha! My apologies for not recognising your humour earlier...you funny bugger!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    What did everyone make of Sam Stone this year? Do you think he can evolve further as a player?
    I was on the fat bandwagon yes.
    In terms of injuries I didn’t make noises about that this year.
    That was years ago when I felt Condon was too slow in getting them back on the field and my concerns about shoulder issues in particular.
    Wrong and right.

    If Sam is coming off the bench we have a good team. If he’s starting we have problems.

  7. #7

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    If we get Matterson and keep Arrow I don't want Stone anywhere near the 17. Proctor, Matto, Arrow backrow. Carwright bench and I'd take Hipgrave over Stone too

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by hangingon View Post
    If we get Matterson and keep Arrow I don't want Stone anywhere near the 17. Proctor, Matto, Arrow backrow. Carwright bench and I'd take Hipgrave over Stone too
    That's my thoughts too mate. I feel that Stone plays a similar game to Proctor - that is he tackles and tackles but doesn't offer much in attack. I don't think he does it as well as Proctor though, his defensive technique allows fast plays of the ball. If he can beef up a bit then his game might improve. Out of all of our current back rowers he would be the last picked for me.

  9. #9
    Captain Mr Bods's Avatar
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    We always have these discussions under the assumption of nobody being injured and we all know that rarely happens

  10. #10

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    Yeah exactly I just don't think he offers much. I'm hopeful that Holbrook can get Cartwright going well and plan some attacking plays around him like an outside pass to Carty for an inside ball to AJ. He made good strides in defence this year so hopefully his best isn't too far away

  11. #11

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    I honestly can't wait to see the impact Holbrook has. JD for that matter as well. Surely a combo of Holbrook and Dymock out does the old Brennan and Hodgo.

    When I say that I think Stone could become a very solid nrl player...you guys hit it on the head. I consider Proctor a very solid backrower, and you need them in your side. They can't all be exciting try scorers. You need those work horse types.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bods View Post
    We always have these discussions under the assumption of nobody being injured and we all know that rarely happens
    Very true! Depth is what we need, and I think we're working towards that.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by hangingon View Post
    If we get Matterson and keep Arrow I don't want Stone anywhere near the 17. Proctor, Matto, Arrow backrow. Carwright bench and I'd take Hipgrave over Stone too
    Agree with you there however Proctor, Cartwright, James etc have been nowhere like getting the job done and we are stuck with them next year. Quite depressing to me that it just seems the deckchairs on the Titanic are just rearranged. Of course i hope the new coach gets a lift but I heard that with Brennan. As for Stone, if the Knights are happy to offload you that says a lot.

  13. #13

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    Giving Whitbred a chance has shown the lack of depth we have. A really plodder
    Last edited by Whats Doing; 04-10-19 at 09:03 PM.

  14. #14
    Junior Ausphin's Avatar
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    I'm actually quite positive about those Cartwright quotes. I'll admit he hasn't been a focal point of my thoughts on next year's team, but if he can come close to his undoubted potential then he could be an x-factor we desperately need in attack, particularly with the uncertainty of our spine.

    I watched his defence closely this year and while he will never be mistaken for Jake Trbojevic or Victor Radley he was definitely vastly improved. The fact he is saying that he still has a lot of work to do and he is miles away from where he wants to be with his game are positives for me.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Whats Doing View Post
    Giving Whitbred a chance has shown the lack of depth we have. A really plodder
    Early on this season I shared the same thoughts, but towards the end of the year he impressed me with his motor, mobility and aggression. Not bad for a young kid. Won't crack the prop rotation of James, Wallace and Mo, but could definitely challenge Boyd and Hipgrave for bench middle forward slot.


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