Srama to miss out in Titans reshuffle
Titans coach Neil Henry looks likely to run with four forwards on the bench on Friday night as he endeavours to counter a Broncos interchange promising to bring plenty of grunt up front.
Although Matt Srama was named in jersey No.17 earlier in the week he was put through a gruelling session with sprint coach Tim Gabbett along with Matthew White and Intrust Super Cup aligned players on Thursday morning and watched on from the sideline as the final ball work session took place on Cbus Super Stadium.
If Kierran Moseley starts as named at hooker in his return from a minor knee injury, the Gold Coast bench will consist of Eddy Petybourne, Agnatius Paasi, Lachlan Burr and Ryan Simpkins with Simpkins the man to slot in at dummy-half in various stages of the game.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has been forced into a late reshuffle of his own with fullback Jordan Kahu being ruled out with a hamstring injury and has a five-man bench at present that will also need to be trimmed.
Along with livewire dummy-half Kodi Nikorima, Bennett has named four front-rowers on his extended bench and while Henry suggested that Srama would keep his place in the team, he did concede that adding size to the Titans bench was a consideration.
"We're weighing up what we do with the size of our bench against a fairly big pack and the players that have come into their side," Henry said of the Broncos' additions in the wake of injuries to Justin Hodges and Adam Blair.
"Without one of our feeder clubs playing we can have 19 players here tomorrow and make a late decision on it.
"Matty's doing a little bit extra because his game time's been limited. With Beauy (Beau Falloon) back for a couple of weeks he hasn't had much [game time] so he's doing a bit of a top-up."
Simpkins spent large parts of the final captain's run in the dummy-half position and has earned high praise from Henry since coming into the team for the Round 2 clash against the Panthers.
The Tugun junior and former Panther played just 30 minutes against the Sharks last week – where he made 28 tackles – but was terrific the week prior in the narrow loss to the Knights, laying on the final pass for Aidan Sezer's second try and running for 80 metres from 10 carries in 43 minutes on the field.
Two players are in line to make their first appearance for the Broncos in 2015 with former Storm prop Mitchell Garbutt and Francis Molo in the mix along with the ever-improving Jarrod Wallace and Mitchell Dodds, who has missed the past three weeks with a calf injury.