Kelly's future unclear under Henry
He was a key factor in the Titans' strong start to the season but Albert Kelly's future in the halves would appear uncertain if interim coach Neil Henry is handed the job on a permanent basis.
Although Kelly came through an 80-minute performance playing for a well-beaten Tweed Heads in the Intrust Super Cup last weekend, Henry has stuck with the pairing of Aidan Sezer and Daniel Mortimer for the clash with St George Illawarra on Sunday.
Kelly will again play reserve grade but even if he comes through the trip to the Sunshine Coast unscathed, Henry indicated that his inclusion in the NRL squad would likely be as a utility option off the bench.
With Kelly in the 17 this season the Titans have a winning percentage of 58 per cent and have managed just one win from nine games in his absence but Henry has liked what he has seen from Sezer and Mortimer in their two games together thus far.
"Aidan's only just had his second game and I thought there was improvement in his game from game one to game two," said Henry.
"He's disappointed in our kicking efforts at the back-end of the game [against Manly] where we had some opportunities and lost some composure to try and get the game.
"We did turn the ball over attacking the line I think five times in the game, three times in the second half so we wasted some opportunities to put some pressure on a very good defensive team.
"Albert was in the centres for the majority of the game [for Tweed Heads], played about 20 minutes in the halves but it was a game where he didn't get many opportunities.
"Easts were dominant and I think he made 28 tackles so he's had plenty of defensive practice and he defended well but he's a bit rusty with his attack and still needs another run.
"He does add some utility value but I'm quite comfortable with Aidan and Daniel trying to form a little partnership there."
It's another blow to Kelly who has had to endure an injury-riddled season having signed an extended contract through until the end of the 2015 earlier in the year, making no secret of his desire to stay on the Gold Coast.
Off the field Kelly and his partner Mtia Tass are expecting a little sister for Brida-Lee in November and the 23-year-old told NRL.com that this is where he wants to play out his career.
"I feel like I'm at home mate. Everything's kind of fallen into place," Kelly said upon his return from injury in Round 17.
"If you look at Cronulla, it's in the city and then to come up here, it's like the beach meets the country. It's real cruisy and a lot more laid back, the traffic and that in Sydney and the boys here all get along. We have catch-up barbecues and stuff like that; we're just a tight-knit bunch of blokes who look after each other."
Up against a relatively new Dragons halves pairing but one that boasts 34 Tests between them, whether Sezer and Mortimer can overshadow Gareth Widdop and Benji Marshall will largely dictate whether the Titans can maintain their perfect record at WIN Jubilee.
Widdop and Marshall had two try assists apiece in last Sunday's 34-16 win over the Raiders in Canberra and Henry is wary of the opportunities they can create for their dangerous outside men.
"Gareth Widdop started the year on fire and Benji has come along and really improved as he's got more of a combination with Gareth," he said.
"They were very good last week against Canberra, there wasn't much in the game for probably 60 minutes and they've got players that can score tries. On both wings they're exceptional and their halves are really doing a job.
"They got the monkey off their back by getting the win in Canberra and realistically they need to win three games to make the finals so it's a crucial game for them."
Dave Taylor is another big omission for the Titans with the recurrence of a calf injury and Henry said he won't be risked until he is fully fit.
"His neck has pretty well settled down but his calf tightened up at training and was a little bit worse than we thought," he said.
"He had a scan on it and there's a bit of a tear there. It's 1-2 weeks but he needs to be pretty well 100 per cent before we'll use him."