Titans happy to expose Brisbane's middle
They have enjoyed success going through the middle from short range all season and Titans coach Neil Henry sees no reason to go away from that game-plan against the Broncos in Friday night's Elimination Final at Suncorp Stadium.
While prop Ryan James has been the one breaking try-scoring records a number of Titans forwards have proven to be handy try-scorers in 2016 with Zeb Taia scoring five tries in eight games early in the season and Chris McQueen scoring six of his seven tries for the year in an eight-week period.
Even Luke Douglas has crossed for two tries this season as the Titans have chosen to go through teams rather than around them.
The Titans have scored 37 tries in the middle third of the field in 2016 compared to just 20 for the Broncos and with Brisbane conceding 58 per cent of their tries from inside the 10-metre zone, Henry has no qualms in trying to expose a soft underbelly.
"I think all teams become vulnerable in the middle third of the field close to the goalposts," Henry said ahead of the team's final training session on Thursday.
"You see a lot of sides playing that flat ball next to the goalposts.
"Ryan James in particular has got a couple of tries there, 'Birdy' got a try there the other week; it's a good area to attack.
"We need to make sure that we've got shape there and that it's a possibility for us.
"That certainly will be a spot to go to."
Conceding that if Brisbane produce a similar performance to the one they delivered against the Storm a fortnight ago his team will struggle to keep pace, Henry said he largely knew what to expect from a Wayne Bennett-coached team.
A resilient defensive line is matched by an energy around the ball in attack, an attack that Henry believes has been more adventurous this season than teams Bennett has coached in the past.
"I'm not expecting too many surprises," said Henry, who is coaching in his fifth finals series.
"They've actually thrown the ball around a bit more than normal. Wayne's traditionally had that four-roll when he's had the forwards and played off the back of it but he's always had teams that can shift long and really test you.
"One thing they do is that they really work hard defensively and he's got that in all the teams he coaches. There's a real defensive focus about protecting their line so they're hard to break down.
"We expect no different from Wayne. He's a very experienced coach, he's been here and done it before and I'm sure he'll have his players primed."
As for any sense of arrogance that the Broncos may exhibit, Henry revealed that the Titans view their big brother up the M1 as a team to be respected and if at all possible emulated.
"It's not so much arrogance but an air of expectation with the club," said Henry.
"They've been a highly successful club and they expect to be in the finals every year and just about every year they are in the finals.
"They've built that on a consistency of performance and a strong club culture and we're a club that's trying to emulate that.
"No doubt they're a quality side, they've won their last five games and we haven't been able to put together complete performances but we're there and it's sudden death.
"It's an opportunity for us to progress and knock off our rivals."
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