Titans coach Neil Henry has admitted the club is in shock over the allegations of drug supply levelled at two of his players but has vowed to bring the team through the other side.
In the wake of his side's 30-10 trial loss to the Cowboys in Cairns on Saturday night Henry faced up to the media and spoke of his disappointment of the allegations less than two weeks out from the start of the season and in the wake of a horror off-season for the club.
Beau Falloon and Jamie Dowling will both appear at Southport Magistrates Court on March 5 and Henry said that the club would not hesitate in handing down serious sanctions should they be found guilty of the charges they are facing.
"The allegations are serious and we don't shy away from allegations like that," said Henry. "We don't know what's going to happen, it's before the courts and I can't comment. It's in the hands of individual solicitors; they are bound to look after their clients.
"We take these matters very seriously. We have dealt with misdemeanours in the past and it's a real shock to the club, the fans and the boys sitting in there. While we support our players, we will have to see what the outcome is from the investigation."
Statement from NRL CEO Dave Smith
Scott urges Taumalolo to stay loyal
While his coach may have claimed that Matt Scott was a bit rusty on his return to football on Saturday night, the raw power of Jason Taumalolo was once again on display for all to see, and it's a sight Scott hopes to see more of.
Taumalolo is the most sought-after forward off contract at the end of the 2015 season but having made his debut for the Cowboys as an 18-year-old back in 2010 Scott believes that at this point in his career the best move for Taumalolo is not to move at all.
"I don't really want to play against him," was Scott's response at the prospect of Taumalolo taking up a lucrative contract elsewhere.
"He's No.1 priority for the club at the moment, it would be great to see him stay.
"He's had a great start to his career with us and I think for him to keep improving and for him personally I think it's the right decision to stay. He's a good fit for our club and I think we're a good fit for him."
Moseley shows he's ready to go
With uncertainty now surrounding the future of Beau Falloon's NRL career, Panthers recruit Kierran Moseley used Saturday night's trial in Cairns to prove he is ready to become an NRL regular in Round 1. Starting the game against a powerful Cowboys outfit, Moseley was dynamic in and around the dummy-half area and showed good smarts to follow Greg Bird in the early stages to help create second-phase play for his team.
Matt Srama also made a positive contribution to the hooking role off the bench and Christian Hazard has impressed in the pre-season but coach Neil Henry said Moseley was now well and truly in the mix.
"He showed he will be pushing for a spot in the 17," said Henry, who also complimented Srama on his performance that netted a try in the 29th minute.
Cowboys shape up for title tilt
Matt Scott has seen more pre-seasons in Townsville than he'd care to admit but even the co-captain can feel a sense of confidence pervading the playing group ahead of the 2015 season.
Not only did the Cowboys boast a noticeable size advantage over the Titans on Saturday night but the speed at which they did everything showed that they are physically primed to take the competition by storm from Round 1.
A poor start partly derailed the Cowboys' campaign last season but with the last pre-season hitout under their belt, coach Paul Green likes the look of his squad.
"Everyone wants to get off to a good start but I think physically we're in a really good place," said Green.
"The boys have worked really hard. I just said to them then that the pre-season is done for this year and given them the rap. They've worked really hard and worked hard consistently over the course of what's always a long pre-season but I thought they looked good physically out there tonight."