Elgey key to Titans' hopes, says Bird
He has helped guide the Titans to three wins from their past four matches and Titans back-rower Greg Bird believes rookie half Kane Elgey holds the key to their team's finals aspirations.
In the post-match press conference Henry described Elgey's display in his fourth NRL appearance as "hot and cold" and there were certainly some crucial errors to go with two try assists but his addition at the expense of the injured Daniel Mortimer has enlivened the Titans' attack.
Adding a 32-6 win over the Panthers on Saturday night to their 38-point haul against the Eels the week prior represented the first time since Round 12, 2013 that the Titans had scored more than 30 points in consecutive weeks.
It was also the first time in the club's short history that they had recorded wins of more than 20 points in consecutive weeks and Bird believes Elgey's introduction and his developing combination with five-eighth Aidan Sezer has been a contributing factor.
"He and Sezer are starting to combine well together and if we're going to do anything in this competition it's going to be on the back of those two playing with confidence," Bird said following his 100th game for the club.
"Youthful enthusiasm and confidence is great for the team, he's just got to build that into his 80-minute performance. The more experience he gets in first grade the better he'll be and we're starting to see glimpses of that at the moment.
"He's growing as a first-grader. He's definitely not at his best and he'll be the first person to put his hand up and say that he's got a lot of improvement in him. I've seen him tear teams to shreds in under-20s but it's a whole different ball game when you step up with the big boys and he knows that now."
The only loss Elgey has suffered in first grade to date was the 26-16 defeat at the hands of the Broncos in Round 5, a game in which they hammered away at the resilient Brisbane defence without success in the opening 20 minutes of the game.
Bird was seen consoling a deflated Elgey in the aftermath of that loss but said it is vital he maintains a confident air about him as his NRL career kicks into gear.
"He's a confident player and like most confident players they take the things that they try that don't come off pretty hard," Bird said.
"That Broncos game we had a lot of opportunity and didn't capitalise and he may have taken that to heart but he hasn't gone into his shell. If he did I'd be right in his ear."
Complicating Elgey's top grade indoctrination is that in defence on the left edge he has had to quickly establish combinations with both Josh Hoffman and William Zillman as they alternate between left centre and fullback.
He was subjected to a baptism of fire against the Sharks in his NRL debut but his solitary missed tackle against the Panthers represented his best defensive return to date.
"A few games under his belt and he's really finding his feet," Hoffman said.
"There are a few things we need to address with our attack and a few silly errors that we're making but he's really got a combination going with Aidan Sezer and also with me and 'Zilly' (Zillman) at the back, we're really getting a great combination between the four of us.
"The more times he gets his hands on the ball the more confident he'll get. It will be only a matter of time before he starts to take the line on and gets that confidence and show that form like he did in the under-20s."