Young guns Sami, Brimson suggest Titans' future is bright
Gold Coast Titans winger Phillip Sami – the man who did an RTS on the Warriors' RTS (Roger Tuivasa-Sheck) to score a stunning try on Sunday – admits he and Titans teenagers AJ Brimson and Moeaki Fotuaika still pinch themselves that they are playing in the NRL together.
The performance of the three in their side's 36-12 win showed what the Titans may be set to reap out of a frustrating and often heartbreaking 2018 season.
Sami, who turns 21 this Thursday, is the oldest of the trio with Brimson turning 20 in September and Fotuaika 19 in November.
Sami and Brimson had their best performances of the season against the Warriors while front-rower Fotuaika continues to amaze with his maturity and consistency as the youngest prop in the NRL.
In only the second time Sami has been put into the clear this season, after he latched onto a pass from Michael Gordon off a Ryan James offload.
He came to Tuivasa-Sheck and stepped from his left foot then right, at full speed, to leave the Warriors skipper in a tangle, almost tripping over himself.
"I surprised myself to be honest," said Sami, who has missed only one match this season, through injury, after debuting last year at 19 (and playing four games in 2017).
"He's the one doing it to everyone else, so do it to him was a bit incredible.
"My plan was to go right and make him commit then step left. I'm lucky enough it worked.
"That was pretty much the first time I was given a lot of space this year and to come to a fullback like that.
"I would love to have more opportunity to do something like that but I am just happy to be playing NRL and trying to improve.
"AJ, Mo and I often look at ourselves and say how strange it feels to all be in the NRL together this year after playing 20s last year. But we also talk about being consistent week in week out and earning our place in the team and I think we are doing that."
Brimson was brilliant for the Titans, scoring a try, and playing a hand in two others while also kicking smartly and coming up with some first-class defence near his line.
"I thought AJ stepped up; he feels more comfortable in his skin, like he belongs [in the team]," Titans coach Garth Brennan said of his performance.
"He is starting to really feel a part of it and has taken that role away from Ash [Taylor] a little bit which I have been asking from some of the players to do.
"I have been saying all year how exciting it is where this club is heading. We have some super kids coming through and some experience guys around then.
"You look around the side and Phil Sami is young, Ash is young, AJ is young, Jai Arrow is young, Mo Fotuaika is only 18 and to be doing what he is doing at 18 is enormous.
"They will be better for the experience and hopefully some of the older guys will be better."
Add 21-year-old firebrand forward Keegan Hipgrave, who was more subdued and controlled against the Warriors than what he had been in recent weeks, Max King (21), Jai Whitbread (20) and Morgan Boyle (22) and Titans certainly have a pack with their best days ahead.