Gold Coast Titans big guns set to fire on Broncos
MONSTER Titans Dave Taylor and Ryan James will lead a two-pronged assault on the edge against Brisbane tomorrow night, hoping to pull off an Easter upset on the Gold Coast against their more-fancied rivals.
James has already proven a revelation under coach Neil Henry, who has shifted the mobile 112kg New South Welshman to a left-edge second-row role after he was used in the club's front-row rotation last season.
James has responded by playing 80 minutes in all four games, with the exception of a 10-minute stint in the sin bin in the 19-12 round-one loss to the Wests Tigers.
Against a Sharks pack led by NSW Origin captain Paul Gallen, the three-time Indigenous All-Stars rep produced his best game of the season, highlighted by 38 tackles and a number of strong bursts out wide.
With the 122kg Taylor operating on the right edge, the Titans have two players who can potentially create havoc against a Broncos pack including Matt Gillett and Sam Thaiday.
Henry has also refined the Titans bench with Eddy Pettybourne and tough young Tongan Agnatius Paasi, who muscled over for a strong try against the Sharks, providing some mongrel in the middle.
The Broncos have bounced back from a 36-6 first game hammering at the hands of premier South Sydney to string together a hat-trick of wins, the latest against the Warriors.
But they have lost inspirational skipper Justin Hodges to his annual hamstring curse, and also Kiwi enforcer Adam Blair (cork thigh).
Thaiday moves from the bench to start at prop, while utility back Dale Copley will replace Hodges.
The scrum base clash of Brisbane's Ben Hunt, chasing a place in Mal Meninga's Queensland Origin squad, and impressive young Titans' No.7 Kane Elgey will be a highlight, especially if the Gold Coast pack can get on a roll.