Peats in doubt for Sharks clash
Gold Coast coach Neil Henry admits that the hamstring injury troubling hooker Nathan Peats will be monitored during the week after naming him in the starting team for the clash with premiership front-runners Cronulla on Monday night.
With Nathan Friend expected to miss at least two weeks with a hamstring tear and William Zillman still a further fortnight away from a return prop forward Ryan James has been named to captain the team against the Sharks.
The Sharks have made just the one change to the team that defeated Newcastle 36-4 last Sunday with Origin five-eighth James Maloney returning and Fa'amanu Brown making way.
Greg Bird is back for the Titans after a one-week suspension with Ryan Simpkins replacing Nathaniel Peteru on the bench as additional cover at hooker but all eyes will be on whether Peats is able to take his place in the team.
The former Eel failed to train on Tuesday morning and Henry admitted that the six-day turnaround into the Warriors game after the showdown with the Sharks is a concern with an injury such as a hamstring strain.
"It is, that's why we need to make sure we have a light week for him in particular this week and a couple of other guys with a view to the games down the track," Henry said as he announced his team for Round 21.
"It's sore so he hasn't run yet. We'll wait and see but you'd have to say he's in some element of doubt.
"We expect him to be right to play but we've got a bit of extra time this week."
Should Peats be ruled out Kierran Moseley would be the likely player to come into the 17 with Friend, Daniel Mortimer and Matt Srama on the injured list.
While there are doubts surrounding the fitness of the Titans' No.9s the Sharks have been given additional premiership motivation with the announcement that this season will be the last for their hooker, Michael Ennis.
The 32-year-old has missed just eight minutes of his 14th season in the NRL and Henry has no doubt that Ennis's announcement on Tuesday will give his Sharks teammates extra motivation to send him out in style.
"It might galvanise them a little bit to go on and win a comp, which they haven't done," Henry said.
"The media will talk that up regardless, I know Shane (Sharks coach Shane Flanagan) wouldn't be talking it up but they've certainly proven over 15 rounds now that they're a good team.
"He's been very good out of there. Whether or not it's coming out and doing a little short kick or playing through the middle he's certainly a constant threat.
"He's got a few tries from barging over from short-range and there's a bit of banter out there too so he's a great competitor."
The Sharks will be seeking their 16th consecutive win when they arrive at Cbus Super Stadium on Monday night but Henry adopted a philosophical approach to the imposing record they are accumulating.
"It means they're closer to a loss surely," said Henry.
"The streak's irrelevant to us. So they've had a run – it's been a great run – but it's a game we just need to win.
"All we know with the streak is that they've got plenty of confidence and played good footy for quite a long time so they've got that behind them.
"We haven't got that. We've had a couple of weeks where we've played some decent footy, we need to back that up into the third week.
"If we do that and we're able to get a win then it sets us up nicely to stay in the eight and it alleviates the pressure of mathematically how many games we need to win to be there at the end of the year."