Henry denies Warriors have Titans' measure
No team has caused the Titans more trouble in recent years than the Warriors but coach Neil Henry is adamant that their awful record will have no impact on his side's preparation for their must-win clash at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday.
Sitting in 11th and 12th positions on the ladder respectively four points outside the top eight, the Titans and Warriors head into the second half of the regular season needing to win as many as eight of their remaining 12 games to simply squeeze into the finals.
Inflicting a defeat on a fellow finals aspirant is the added bonus that comes with the two competition points this weekend but the Titans will have to overcome a horror record against the Warriors to edge their way up the ladder.
The Titans have won just one of their past 13 clashes with the Warriors stretching back to the end of the 2010 season when the Titans triumphed 28-16 in the qualifying final, the Warriors winning their next six games on the Gold Coast at an average winning margin of 13 points.
Their record against northern neighbours the Broncos is the only one worse than their 33 per cent all-time winning record against the Warriors but as the Titans prepare to celebrate their 10 years in the NRL Henry doesn't expect history to have any impact on the scoreboard.
"I'm not into the stats like you," was Henry's curt response to the Warriors' stranglehold in recent years. "I wasn't coach for quite a few of those anyway and the playing roster is totally different from before so I don't know if you can read anything into it.
"It's there obviously but we don't sit back and think, 'Geez we've got to work out a way to beat this team.'
"There are other stats about how hard Melbourne is to beat in Melbourne but they're a formidable team anyway.
"I just think we need to be a little bit better at home against any opposition and we get an opportunity this week to show that.
"But we certainly haven't talked about finding ways to beat a team that's got a record against us.
"At the moment they've tended to get the better of us but certainly we went over there on Anzac Day a couple of years ago and had a good win.
"I think it will be an entertaining game but hopefully we can get the two points."
The Warriors' only win in the past month came against a depleted Broncos outfit in Round 12 while the Titans come in on the back of losses to the Sea Eagles and Cowboys either side of a bye.
After the Warriors clash the Titans face the Rabbitohs (away), Wests Tigers (away) and Dragons (home) and Henry acknowledges that they need to win at least three of those games to keep their hopes of September football alive.
"This four-game period is crucial to our season and if we can't win three out of four then it's going to be hard to make the eight, we're realistic about that. We need to get on a bit of a roll," said Henry, who has named Jarryd Hayne at fullback for the first time since Round 8 this week.
"This period between now and the bye is very important to us. We've got two home games and two away games on Friday nights against sides that are up and down with their form as well in Souths and Wests Tigers.
"Then we come up against the Dragons who are flying but it's up here.
"We need to get out there and get a win and it will be up to us to do that."
Hayne's move from the centres back to fullback has forced Henry to name Tyrone Roberts on an extended bench along with fellow utility Karl Lawton.
While admitting it was a tough call on Roberts after his bright start to the year playing in a number of different positions Henry conceded that it was imperative to get Hayne more involved in the team's attack.
"He's a strong carrier of the ball and can do something special when he gets his hands on it so we need him involved and fullback is the role for him where he can bounce around either side of the field," Henry said.
"He's great in the air, he's very safe under the bomb and he's got a good kick return. He's a bigger body to bring the ball back compared to Tyrone who relies on his agility and footwork and when you get a good chase against him it's hard for Tyrone to get many metres from the back.
"Jarryd can create something with his hands on the ball and hopefully this will enable him to get more touches this weekend against the Warriors than he was able to get against the Cowboys."