Titans fans urged to match Rabbit invasion
They are the transplanted voices that turn a home game into a cauldron and Titans forward Luke Douglas has urged Gold Coast fans to match the expected invasion of Rabbitohs supporters at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Titans' second-biggest crowd of 2014 turned out to watch them play the Rabbitohs in Round 9 last year but unfortunately for the home side the majority of those inside the stadium were wearing red and green.
A 40-18 victory by the visitors gave them plenty to cheer about but as the Titans enter a key four-week period where they have three games on home soil, Douglas said it is crucial that they have the crowd on their side.
The Titans have launched a special two-game membership package for just $25 that includes tickets to both this weekend's game and the clash with Manly in Round 18 and a merchandise pack as they look to arrest their horrible recent record at home.
The influence of parochial fans can be significant in earning their team a penalty at a critical stage of the game and Douglas has laid down the challenge to Gold Coast fans to match what the Rabbitohs faithful will bring.
"It's going to be hard to combat the red and green but hopefully we can get some blue and yellow out there and really get vocal because it's going to be hard to take that noise away from Souths," Douglas said.
"You do tend to get those 50/50s go your way when the crowd's into the ref. I know the majority of our guys get there and say their two bob's worth but a few more would be great.
"When there are calls that go the right and wrong way, the crowd really revs up.
"You've got teams like Souths, the Warriors, Saints and 'Parra' who all travel well so they do tend to be really vocal and you do notice it out there but we've got our loyal supporters that come out each week so hopefully we can get a few more.
"We haven't got too many wins at home so it's something we're trying to work on, not only for ourselves but for the supporters that get down there each week.
"Three out of four games here at home and the Origin period so massive chance for us to try and get a few wins under our belt."
The Rabbitohs were far from convincing in their 14-12 win over the Eels last Friday night and with halfback Adam Reynolds still on the injured list are looking somewhat vulnerable.
The defending premiers could also be without captain Greg Inglis depending on how he recovers from Wednesday night's Origin encounter but Douglas rejected the notion that the Titans are getting the Rabbitohs at the right time.
"It's a massive challenge. They won the comp last year and they've got massive boys all the way across the paddock, particularly in the forward," said Douglas, who has won just five of 15 games against the Rabbitohs throughout his career.
"The Burgess boys are going to be hard to pull down and our defence has been lacking a bit so we really need to get the grunt in there.
"I think they've got the depth and they're that well drilled, they've got great staff there and they'll come out firing no matter what. They'll be hungry and we've got to be hungrier."