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Zillman injury to send Mead back

Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent NRL.com Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - 4:15 PM

David Mead is in line for a return to fullback following the injury to William Zillman on Sunday. Copyright: Col Whelan/NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos

David Mead looks set to be handed a second shot at the Titans fullback jersey with William Zillman facing a minimum of two weeks on the sideline with a hamstring tear.

Although the full extent of the injury is still to be determined, Zillman left the field after 48 minutes of Sunday night's 24-12 win over the Raiders in Canberra and won't play against the Cowboys next Monday night. 

With the continued doubt over five-eighth Aidan Sezer's quadriceps injury it will be another reshuffled Titans backline for their Round 4 clash with North Queensland.

Mead signalled his desire to push for a shot at fullback during the pre-season and deputised for Zillman in three games last year. His likely shift to the back will open up a wing spot to be fought out between Kalifa Faifai Loa, Steve Michaels and Anthony Don, all of whom played in victorious Intrust Super Cup teams on the weekend.

Two opportunist's tries to Albert Kelly and stoic goal-line defence was the platform for a Titans win in Canberra that resembled much more their grinding Round 1 win over the Sharks than the Round 2 capitulation at home against the Wests Tigers.

"I'd much rather win ugly than lose pretty," said Titans co-captain Greg Bird. "There's a long season ahead of us, we don't want to be peaking in Round 3. We're going to be peaking towards the end of the year and it doesn't matter how many games you win ugly as long as you get the two points.

"We can hold our heads up high after that defensive effort we showed. It was a bit scrappy and we've still got a lot of work to do on our attack but there are a fair few games left to work on that but we're very happy with the defensive effort we showed."

With an eight-day turnaround the Titans coaching staff are hopeful that Sezer can recover in time to take his place in the side but if he is unable half the playmaking duties will once again fall to Ashley Harrison.

The presence of Harrison on the left edge gave the Titans' defence a significant boost and Bird believes if the former Maroon wears the No.6 again it will assist greatly in containing the rampaging Cowboys back-rowers. 

"I was back on the edge this week, out there with 'Harro' next to me on the left edge and I felt really comfortable in defence," said Bird, who assumed the goal-kicking duties in Sezer's absence, landing four-from-six.

"He's used to tackling, he had the big back-rower (Jarrad Kennedy) charging at him for most of the game and it was easy for him.

"[The Cowboys] have got a lot of options in the back row – Cooper, Sims, Taumalolo – and they know what to do. They hit a good hole, they've got probably the best halfback in the comp leading them around so we're going to have our work cut out for us but hopefully [Titans assistant coach] Neil Henry's got some inside knowledge for us and a few tips that can get us over the line."