Titans selection headaches for Broncos clash
The composition of the Titans team for Friday's massive clash with the Broncos at Cbus Super Stadium is likely to remain shrouded in secrecy until game day with suspensions and injuries playing havoc.
Fill-in captain Ryan James was cited by the match review committee on Monday for dangerous contact on Jordan Rapana in the 45th minute of the Titans' 24-20 win over Canberra on Saturday and will need to fight it at the judiciary in order to take his place in the team.
Five-eighth Tyrone Roberts will have scans on a knee injury on Tuesday and is "very doubtful" to face cousin James Roberts and his Broncos teammates while Nathan Friend (concussion) and William Zillman (calf) will both be assessed following a contact session on Tuesday.
The potential loss of both James and Roberts would be massive blows to Gold Coast's chances of registering just their third win in their past 14 encounters and coach Neil Henry is particularly concerned about losing his half.
"He's a lot better today than he was after the game," Henry said on Monday.
"The swelling has gone down and he's walking around okay but we won't get a scan until [Tuesday] being the Easter weekend so we'll know a bit more then. I'd say he'll be very doubtful for this Friday night.
"It's disappointing. He's been very good for us and a big part of our kicking game as well so we'll just have to wait and see what we do there.
"Cameron Cullen is playing some good footy for Burleigh Bears in the Queensland Cup and we've got 'Birdy' (Greg Bird) who likes to play there too so we'll wait and see."
The "wait and see" approach will also apply to Friend and Zillman, the club's two co-captains. Friend was rested from the Canberra game after a couple of heavy head knocks while Zillman could play his first game of the season if he is physically and mentally ready.
"He is a chance," Henry said of Zillman.
"Again he's in the mix because he's done everything that's required this previous week and he just needs to get through this week. We'll do some contact [on Tuesday] and we'll have to wait and see.
"If his mindset is right and he's right to go then he certainly comes into contention. He's earned that right and he's played a lot of first grade football and he knows what it's about.
"If he puts his hand up and he's in the right frame of mind then he'll certainly be considered."
Like most rugby league fans Henry was transfixed by Friday night's grand final rematch between the Broncos and Cowboys and said the quality of both teams was a great barometer for where his team needs to get to.
Despite their lofty position after a month and ability to fight back from sizeable deficits Henry said the Titans need to be much better to match the Broncos' best.
"If they come down here and play that style and can get the intensity about it we're in for a tough night but it's up to us to get to that level," Henry said.
"We've built a bit of confidence, we've been good at home for a couple of games but we just can't afford to take a backward step against the Broncos.
"We can certainly worry them if our ball control is there and we improve in a couple of areas.
"If you concede 12 points against the Broncos it's going to be pretty hard to get back into the game. They're pretty miserly with their defence so we need to limit their scoring opportunities and it's going to be a little bit harder if we've lost Tyrone Roberts.
"It will be up to someone to step up into that role."