Pat Richards launches another trademark kick-off.

Titans prepare for Tigers trick shots

Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor insists his team's focus is at the defensive end of the field but his opposite on Friday night is expecting to see plenty of trick shots, starting from the very first kick-off.

The Titans are again without William Zillman (back) and David Mead (hamstring) for Friday's clash at Leichhardt Oval with Matthew White dropping off the bench and Mark Ioane added to the 17.

Only three teams have scored fewer points than the Tigers through 12 rounds but with Luke Brooks at halfback, James Tedesco at fullback and Pat Richards and Kevin Naiqama on the wings there is plenty of potency in the Tigers backline.

The Titans have conceded more points (278) than all teams except the Raiders and Eels and Henry said his side needs to show the same type of resilience on their line as they displayed against the Rabbitohs last Saturday.

"They've been fairly conservative with their attack I suppose recently, but once they get inside your 20 [metre line]they really throw the ball around a fair bit so our aim would be to stop their forwards getting down that end of the field," Henry said.

"They're desperate as well, they've had quite a few losses lately as well. There are a bunch of us down the bottom half of the table and not many points separating us so we need to get on a bit of a roll.

"We're looking for the team to win two or three in a row and push back up towards the eight. We've had a couple of tight and disappointing losses so we need to start making our mark."

 

In addition to the excitement of young halves Luke Brooks and Mitchell Moses, the Titans are preparing for the aerial assault destined to be fired from the right boot of Pat Richards, the boot that kicked the winning field goal when the two teams met in Round 2.

His kick-offs alone have become an attacking weapon for the Tigers and Henry admitted that the Titans will adjust their positioning at restarts in order to make sure they don't hand over possession cheaply.

"You can move your fullback back into a spot where he's in front of the 10-metre line so he's in more of a catching position for that kick that drops around the 30-metre line," Henry said.

"He gets them up a mile and we practise spiral bombs and things like that anyway. Sometimes he gets them to float; you just need to get some numbers around the ball.

"Sometimes they contest their kick-offs because he gets it so high, we need to make sure we're taking those."

Zillman was a late withdrawal from the Titans team that lost 22-16 to the Rabbitohs last weekend and Henry said that it had not responded sufficiently to treatment to be worth the risk against the Tigers.

"He's had a bit of a tight back and it got gradually worse. He woke up and could hardly run and he's had it checked out," said Henry, who has named Brad Tighe in his place for the second straight week. 

"He has had some back problems before but it tightened right up and it still hasn't really responded, not well enough to be in full training anyway.

"We think it's going to take another week so there's no point risking him for any long-term injury."