Titans' Blair faces day in court
New recruit Maurice Blair remains very much a part of coach John Cartwright's plans for the Titans' opening game of the season despite a court appearance on Tuesday resulting from an alleged incident on New Year's Eve.
It is unclear whether Blair will be required to attend in person at Maryborough Magistrates Court today to answer charges of obstructing police and drinking in a public place in the final minutes of 2013 but Cartwright said any disciplinary action taken by the club will be considered after the judicial process has been completed.
Blair was recruited from the Melbourne Storm to bolster the Titans' thin stocks in the outside backs and with 84 first grade games to his credit Cartwright said he will be very much in the frame when the side for the Round 1 clash with the Sharks is announced.
"At his best he adds a lot to our depth. He's a proven player at NRL level, he did a great job at Melbourne last year and I know they were pretty keen to hang onto him, so he's important," Cartwright said.
"You need your 30-odd players [during the season]. At worse-case scenario you use 30-plus players so you need guys like that that you can put in at a pinch. He'll be pushing for a spot when we come to pick the side for the first game."
This is Blair's second brush with the law following an incident on the Gold Coast back in 2012 and Cartwright is hopeful that whatever the outcome of the latest charges, the 29-year-old will learn from his mistake.
"It's not just a football thing, it's something that he's got to learn to deal with," said Cartwright. "Whether you're playing football or not you've got to learn that bad choices haunt everyone but more so when you are playing at this elite level.
"The big concern for anyone facing a legal issue is that you've got to go through court, you've got to face your punishment and face all of that so we'll get that out of the way and then we'll start dealing with him at a club level."