Titans players celebrate a try against the Knights in Round 1.

Titans depth to cause selection headaches

It's the type of problem that only comes as a result of a win, even if it is Round 1 and against last year's wooden-spooners.

Titans coach Neil Henry must somehow find a place for two of his most senior players when he names his team on Tuesday to take on the Storm this weekend but in doing so may lessen the role of two of his better performers from the 30-12 win over the Knights on Sunday.

 

The withdrawal of William Zillman due to a calf injury gave David Mead another shot at his preferred position of fullback and he was nothing short of superb, threatening to bust through the Newcastle defensive line with almost every touch as he ran for 159 metres from 19 carries.

He was fearless under the high ball in atrocious conditions and while he did come up with one first half blunder was otherwise error free.

With co-captain Zillman expected to be fit to take his place against the Storm, Mead is facing a move back to the wing which would in turn force either Anthony Don (two tries) or John Olive (one try on club debut) out of the 17.

Centre Nene Macdonald (knee) could also be available for selection this week but will have to displace Nathan Davis who showed plenty of promise in his NRL debut.

Last season Henry alternated in games between Zillman and Josh Hoffman at fullback and given his comments after the game on Sunday evening may be considering a similar role for Mead after his impressive display.

"It's just a strong showing but that's what 'Meady' brings at the back there," Henry said. "He's brave, he attacks the ball and he works hard to find his front.

"'Zilly' has got a very good play-the-ball as well and covers the ground so it's good to have the flexibility to leave 'Hoffy' at left centre and put 'Meady' at the back and be comfortable with that.

"It's a good position to be in."

Equalling their largest ever Round 1 winning margin, the other player Henry has to wedge back into the team is veteran prop Luke Douglas, the Titans' reigning player of the year who had to sit on the sideline on Sunday for the first time in his career.

From there he would have seen Agnatius Paasi ferociously charging into the Newcastle defence and further cementing his positions as a crowd favourite while strengthening his claims for a permanent starting spot.

Eddy Pettybourne (cork) is in some doubt to face Melbourne after only getting through 17 minutes against the Knights but Henry will still have a decision to make on the balance of the starting side and what he holds up his sleeve on the bench.

"We'll see how Eddy Pettybourne is. He actually got quite a bad cork, that was his problem so we'll see how he recovers," Henry said.

"It's good that we've got a bit of depth in the forwards that's for sure.

"I thought Nathan Davis held his own out there on debut as well and 'Vaha' (Leivaha Pulu) came on and added a bit of energy and got a couple of cracks at it and showed a nice pass as well.

"We've shown a little bit today and it's a good step in the right direction.

"It puts us in a good frame of mind, to be out there with a win like that where our defence showed some resolve and we're going to need to be on our game next week against a fairly potent attack."