Titans brace for physical Knights
Titans captain Nate Myles has warned his young forwards to expect a physical battering when the Knights land on the Gold Coast on Sunday but doesn't believe Newcastle enforcer Beau Scott goes beyond the laws of the game.
Scott was cited by the match review committee for a dangerous throw on Cowboys playmaker Johnathan Thurston last weekend but is free to play the Titans with an early guilty plea that will leave him with 90 carry-over points.
With a physical forward confrontation awaiting them at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday evening there is no better time for suspended stars Greg Bird, Dave Taylor and Beau Falloon to be cleared to resume playing for Gold Coast. The Titans board was on Tuesday considering the advice handed down by Sydney barrister Tony Bannon SC. with the suspended players permitted to resume playing and training duties.
Although they were victorious against the Knights in Newcastle in Rise For Alex Round last year, the Titans suffered serious injuries to Ashley Harrison, Matt Srama, Luke O'Dwyer and Jamal Idris in two heavy defeats to the Knights in 2013 and Myles is expecting another bruising encounter on Sunday.
"It was pretty visible that they wanted to be physical with a key player so no doubt they'll be doing the same thing against us," Myles said.
"It's not against the rule book to target some people and the way they go about it, I suppose it can be in the wrong way. For us we know they're a physical side and they've been physical with us the last couple of years so we need to make sure that our training's s good and we take it out there [onto the field]."
Fierce opponents at both club and Origin level, rather than criticise Scott for his aggressive, in-your-face style, Myles instead praised the Knights back-rower but conceded that the 'no punching' edict has led to more niggling tactics.
"I was probably the best example of mouthing off and not putting your chin away but being cut from the old cloth, if you're willing to mouth off and willing to get dirty you have got to be prepared for what comes with it," Myles said.
"That's the reason Beau Scott is so good. He's a very physical player and they've already ruled on that and they didn't think he was too far out of line. He's a great player and our boys have to be ready for the physicality that they bring.
"There's a reason why there are those players in the game and why they're so good is because they are physical and they are tough."
After a one-point first-up loss at home to the Wests Tigers the Titans were forced to endure a torturous video review session on Tuesday morning in the wake of their 40-0 thrashing by the Panthers in Bathurst in Round 2.
With 19 errors and a completion rate of just 15 from 33 the Titans were in many ways the architects of their own demise but Myles remains confident they can rectify their poor execution in the coming days.
"Like always with us, it's a bit of a Groundhog Day saying that effort-wise was really good but lack of execution is not the right thing for us," he said.
"I didn't feel that there was any one point that I was getting worried, it was just one of those things where the harder we tried the worse it got.
"The silly thing is that we should be more aware of what we have to do on the field. Watching us on the weekend and feeling the way the game was going it didn't look like we were familiar at all with what we were doing but we are familiar with it and we need to transfer that from the training field to the game."