Traffic chaos strands Titan Taylor
Plenty of people get the train to work every day but Titans halfback Ashley Taylor was not expecting to have to use public transport in order to make kick-off in Monday night's 30-10 win over the Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium.
Taylor was one of the thousands of commuters caught in gridlock on the M1 between Brisbane and the Gold Coast on Monday afternoon following a four-car accident near Coomera that saw a man rushed to hospital in a critical condition and four others taken to hospital in a stable condition.
Taylor was making his way to Robina from his cousin's house in Beenleigh when he was caught up in the traffic chaos and said he was seriously wondering at one point whether he would make it to the ground in time for kick-off.
"It was just a massive crash and I wasn't moving on the highway and it was a quarter to five and I had to be here at 5.15," Taylor told NRL.com.
"I rang the coach (Neil Henry) and rang 'Boof' (Anthony Laffranchi) our manager and said that I was going to be late and didn't know how I was going to get there.
"He said to jump off at the next exit and try and get a train down.
"It still took me about 40 minutes to get to the Pimpama exit and I ended up getting here about a quarter to six."
It's not the first time this season that Taylor has struck trouble on the highway after he was involved in an accident himself in the days leading up to the Round 3 clash against the Wests Tigers.
The 21-year-old was rear-ended and went to hospital to be examined for any possible back injuries but was given the all-clear and subsequently starred in the 30-18 win over the Tigers.
Although his latest highway incident was not of his own making he still felt that he had let the team down by not making it to the ground on time.
"Obviously I was a bit rattled with being late, it's not very good preparation," Taylor said.
"I wanted to get here earlier and be professional. I was planning on watching the 20s play but I was flat-out getting here on time.
"I let myself down and let the team down partially but I tried to make up for it in the game."
Taylor did the lion's share of the kicking in general play against Manly in another polished performance from the rookie and was given an early mark by coach Neil Henry seven minutes from full-time after battling a chest infection during the week.
"I was just cramping, that was the main thing," Taylor said of any possible injury concerns.
"I've had a bit of a chest infection as well so they're just trying to get me through games at the moment and that's why they gave me the last seven minutes.
"We were up by 20 and the coach was comfortable with where we were and 'Peatsy' (Nathan Peats) went out there and did a good job as well."
The Titans' four wins from their past five matches can be largely attributed to a blossoming partnership between Taylor and Tyrone Roberts in the halves and their combination with fullback William Zillman was a first-half highlight especially.
A new hooker rotation with Nathan Peats now in the mix for a month is also giving their attack a potency that can worry any opposition defence.
"Consistency is what we need and when our halves are playing and our hookers are playing forward and our men are running through the middle – which we saw a bit of tonight – we can gain good momentum. If we can play that style we're better," said Henry.