Myles expecting to see Bird for Origin I
Maroons enforcer Nate Myles expects to meet fellow Titans co-captain Greg Bird on the field of battle for Origin I, describing the tackle that landed him on report as "a good tackle".
Bird being placed on report for a possible dangerous throw in the 60th minute was the culmination of a forgettable night for the Titans who were overpowered 40-18 by a South Sydney team more resembling that which qualified for the preliminary finals for the past two seasons.
Titans forward Matt White was suspended for two weeks for a Grade 2 Dangerous Throw charge following the Round 7 win over Penrith but both Myles and coach John Cartwright are hopeful their inspirational back-rower won't suffer a similar fate for his tackle on Rabbitohs winger Bryson Goodwin.
"Nah, that's a good tackle. Ask anyone in the game, that's a good tackle," said Myles when asked whether he thought Bird had anything to worry about.
"There were no hands between the legs, it was a traditional tackle," said Cartwright. "His legs did go high but he landed safely.
"[NRL head of football Todd Greenberg] did say that not all lifting tackles are going to be charged and sometimes a lifting tackle is a traditional rugby league tackle and initially that looked to fall into that category."
For the second time this season the Titans were blown off the park in the opening 20 minutes on their home turf, South Sydney enjoying two-thirds of possession and making the most of it, posting 22 points before the Titans got on the scoreboard.
Injuries to Ryan James (shoulder) and Ashley Harrison (neck) and continuing concerns over Aidan Sezer and Albert Kelly will make for interesting debate come selection for next Friday's crunch encounter with the Broncos but Cartwright paid South Sydney the ultimate compliment.
"For me watching, they were red-hot tonight, they're the best side we've played this year," Cartwright said.
"They just blew us away. Sometimes that happens – you don't like it to happen – but sometimes you've just got to hang in there for that period and that's what we've been doing.
"You never know how a game's going to pan out or what try is going to open the floodgates... but to get back within 10 points at half-time, we probably didn't deserve to be there but I was hoping that might have sparked us but we were just outplayed by a better side tonight.
Myles was similarly impressed, in particular the powerful performances in the middle of George Burgess (147 metres), Sam Burgess (128m) and Dave Tyrrell (104m).
"That first 20... Like 'Carty' said, they're the best team we've played this year; that first 20 was incredible for them," Myles said.
"It was really hard to get up and try and slow it down. When you've got that sort of size and speed coming at you it does take a little bit to get back on top.
"We got the try off the intercept but then we got another try after some constructive sets but you just can't afford to give a team like Souths a lead like that, especially with players that can hurt you from any part of the field."
In his return from an ankle injury William Zillman had a difficult night at left centre marking four-try South Sydney hero Dylan Walker but Cartwright refused to lay any blame on any single player.
"It's hard to judge anyone on a performance when you're going backwards all night," Cartwright said.
"We'll review it and come up with a side that we think can beat the Broncos. It's hard to say initially whether anyone was good or wasn't good, it's very hard to impress when you're going backwards most of the night."