Titans 'all Cherry' after ordinary week
In a week where would-be star recruit Daly Cherry-Evans reneged on a rich four-year deal to play on the Gold Coast in 2016 and beyond, the Titans were still able to keep their wits about them by sinking the Wests Tigers 27-20 on Friday night.
With Cherry-Evans signing an unprecedented lifetime deal at the Sea Eagles, and consequently turning his back on the Titans, the Queensland and Australian representative's backflip has temporarily skewed coach Neil Henry's long-term plans, in the most part when it comes to future recruitment.
Extinguishing their three-game losing streak with victory over the Tigers, it was business as usual for the Titans who now only just sit out of the top eight because of points differential.
"Our main focus as a team was Wests Tigers. Obviously news about Daly Cherry-Evans came out this week but that's not really in our control. It was for next year anyway and we're playing for this year," Titans winger David Mead told NRL.com.
"2015 is what we are focused on, and we wanted to beat the Tigers, and I'm so glad we did. The only talk about [DCE's backflip] came from Neil Henry. He told us that it's not in our control, stay focused on the job at hand and I thought the boys did that really well."
Mead, who returned for the Titans after missing their last start due to a grade one hamstring tear, said the Titans' first win in a month was the best way to show the club's fans that Cherry-Evans's rejection wasn't going to influence them.
"I think our team is capable of a lot of things," Mead said. "The main thing for us over the past few weeks in terms of the games we lost was our lack of possession. We wanted to control what we could and I thought we did that well [against the Tigers]."
Returning to first-grade in place of Kevin Gordon, Mead went on to add that the competiveness for spots is another positive sign the club is heading in the right direction.
While Gordon and Mead have been the first-choice wingers for the best part of the last six seasons, the brilliant rise of Anthony Don – who is currently tied second with his own centre James Roberts on the NRL's top try-scorers list – into first-choice NRL calculations means the stakes have risen.
"Anthony Don has been on fire all year. Kevvy and I have always been competitive but now [Don] has cemented his spot on the wing it's gone up a notch. We have Kalifa [Faifai Loa] as well who is playing well for Tweed Heads so it's always good to have competition there," Mead said.
"You always know someone is gunning for your spot now, and that comes from some of the young guys too, so it's always interesting. But you just have to be focused on doing your job as good as you can and hopefully it translates to good performances."