Tough guy Troy Giess joins the Sunshine Coast Falcons
IN A boost for the Sunshine Coast, rugged back-rower Troy Giess is poised to sign with the Falcons and he's intent on bringing some much-needed starch to the side's defence.
The 27-year-old is renowned for his hard-hitting ways, propelling Redcliffe and Easts to grand finals in 2012 and 2014.
He was chased hard by new coach Craig Ingebrigtsen, who is determined to arrest a worrying trend at the club - it has leaked an average of more than 31 points a game for the past five years.
The Falcons fared better last season, when the Melbourne Storm-affiliated outfit kept rivals to an average 26 points an outing on its way to 11th place on the 14-team ladder.
But Ingebrigtsen wants his new-look team to become a virtual brick wall in the quest for finals this time around.
The expected signing of Giess should dramatically help with that.
"That (defence) is my big thing," Giess said. "To just try and hit everyone that runs near me or at me as hard as I can.
"I'm not the biggest guy (at 98kg, 185cm) but I try to be an intimidator out there and hopefully that can rub off on a few of the other guys.
"We've talked about being mentally tough but if you're physically tough no one is going to want to come to the Sunshine Coast and play against you.
"We've got to get physically aggressive, not by breaking the rules but by going as far as we can."
Ingebrigtsen, who coached Giess at Easts last year, believed he had found "the missing piece of the puzzle" for the Falcons roster, particularly while lock Tom Murphy recovers from a serious shoulder injury.
"It was a big chase for me (to get him) and it was a big play because I need that (sort of) experienced guy," the coach said.
"He's ruthless and tough. He's got a saying that he hates losing more than he enjoys winning so I know he's going to be so good for this group."
A schoolteacher in Brisbane who has played 120 state league games, Giess moved to the Sunshine Coast last year to be near his parents, and has been training with the Falcons in the pre-season.
Giess lost his brother Grant in July.
The Tigers halfback was one of the Intrust Super Cup's most talented players.
Ingebrigtsen said: "The family is lovely and is very private. Troy's brother was his best mate and even though Grant was younger, Troy looked up to him a lot.
"I can't speak highly enough of Troy after what he's gone through and what his family has been through, just the way he has conducted himself around this club and his last club."
Giese could be the last player added to the Falcons' roster, which has plenty of fresh faces in 2016.
Among the newcomers is hooker Nafe Seluini and Matt Grieve, who are currently training with the Storm.
The Falcons will play a trial against Norths at Bishop Park on February 6.
The Falcons will also play a curtain raiser to the NRL pre-season match between Melbourne and Wests Tigers at Sunshine Coast Stadium on February 13.