Queensland sides set for fresh-faced derby
The injury-ravaged Titans will host the equally depleted Cowboys this Saturday in what is shaping up to be a fresh-faced battle given the host of inexperienced players littered throughout the teams.
With the likes of Nathan Peats, Jarryd Hayne, John Olive and Anthony Don and Wil Zillman all missing due to injury the Titans are perhaps the only team in the competition who can rival the Cowboys' missing players, which includes Matt Scott, Lachlan Coote, Justin O'Neill and Antonio Winterstein.
Cowboys second-rower Gavin Cooper was impressed with the Titans' effort against the Eels last week, and is hoping his side can take a leaf out of their book.
"It's something we need to get back to: playing nitty-gritty. We ground out a couple of good wins against Canberra and the Broncos but the weekend wasn't us for sure," Cooper said.
"I'm not going to blame fatigue and I'm not going to blame the boys that we missed either. It was all of the little effort areas… that we needed to be better at. Even if we had [Jason Taumalolo] or [Matt Scott]… it wasn't the go-forward we were lacking."
Cooper is confident that the game time for the new players will help them improve against the Titans.
"Those boys will be a lot better for the run and our whole group will be a lot better," Cooper said.
Cowboys hooker Jake Granville is looking forward to gaining redemption with the team against the Titans but is expecting a tough game.
"They're going to be tough down there at home. They got a win last weekend and they're never out of the game they can score a try from anywhere," Granville said.
"They showed a really tough mentality… so we need to watch that part of their game."
Granville is also confident that the new-look forwards running off his passes can get the job done against the Titans.
"The boys can put a fair dent in the line, [Patrick Kaufusi] and Sam Hoare and [Scott Bolton]. I got a couple of quick play-the-balls on the weekend and that allowed me to get out," Granville said.
"[Coen] Hess was really good for us last weekend and hopefully can put in another good performance like he did."