Titans anxious to see if Taylor plays
The Titans' finals aspirations may hinge on the whim of Maroons coach Mal Meninga with Gold Coast coach John Cartwright admitting that he will be disappointed if Dave Taylor doesn't take the field in Game Two on Wednesday night.
The Storm were the beneficiaries of Will Chambers being released from the Maroons squad to score two tries in their 24-20 win at Cbus Super Stadium on Monday night while the Titans battled on gamely without the services of Taylor, Nate Myles and Greg Bird.
With so much conjecture surrounding the ability of Daly Cherry-Evans's left knee standing up to the rigours of a potentially Series-deciding Origin encounter, there remains the possibility of Meninga naming Ben Hunt on the bench in case of emergency.
That would almost certainly squeeze Taylor out of the 17 and delay his Origin recall for a further three weeks at least and leave a desperate Titans outfit wondering how much of a difference he could have made for his club on Monday as their losing streak was extended to five games.
"I hadn't even thought of that one, it would be a little bit disappointing," Cartwright said when the possibility of Hunt coming onto the bench in place of Taylor was put to him.
"I understand the position they're in and depending on who is available sometimes you have to make some last-minute decisions but it's certainly something we as a club would be disappointed in if Dave didn't take the field on Wednesday night."
After coming up with two classy pieces of play for tries against the Titans, Chambers suffered a severe cut just below his left knee but was able to finish the game, his inclusion a very welcome one for Storm coach Craig Bellamy.
"Every now and again you've got to shake him a little bit," said Bellamy when asked of Chambers' attitude when he rejoined his Storm team-mates on Sunday afternoon."He's still got his head in camp a little bit but when he came into camp with us we just gave him what we needed from him and he goes out there and does it.
"We probably didn't get the ball to him as much as we would have liked [against the Titans] but that try he scored was pretty easy in the end, he's a very talented player.
"I'm glad for me as a Storm person that he's going to play with us but I'd love to see him play Origin too," Bellamy added.
"He's been into three or four camps now and he's always been the 18th or 19th player so I can imagine he's probably a little bit frustrated – he doesn't admit to that or doesn't say that because I know he loves being in the camps. All of us at the club would love to see him play in an Origin game, number one because I think he deserves it.
"He's a very talented player and he's very committed to playing his footy and he loves that idea of playing Origin so I feel for him in that he's not quite there yet but I'm sure if he keeps playing well for us it won't be too long.
"He's a really good teammate and a really good player for us."