Thompson opts to sign new Tigers deal

Wests Tigers utility back Corey Thompson

Despite interest from the Penrith Panthers, Corey Thompson has made the decision to stay on with the Wests Tigers. 

Re-signing with the club on a 2-year deal, at one stage, the deal looked like it would not be going ahead.

Despite that speculation, Thompson said his decision to sign to re-sign was a  great one for him.

“It feels great to re-sign with the club and I can’t wait to be here for another two years,” Thompson said.

“I don’t want to go anywhere — I love playing at the Wests Tigers and to have my future sorted for another two years is really great for me.”

With finals footy still on the cards, Thompson wants to help propel the Tigers side towards September.

“Now that my contract is sorted, I’m just concentrating on playing consistent first-grade and playing good footy for the club and help take Wests Tigers to the finals,” he continued.

Just as pleased is head coach Michael Maguire, who has praised Thompson and his development and knows he will only get better.

“I’m very pleased to see Corey commit his future to Wests Tigers,” said Maguire.

“He works extremely hard and embodies the values by which we want to be known as a team and is exceptionally well liked by the playing group and coaching staff.

“Even with his experience, Corey is still improving and growing in his game as an outside back, and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to develop in the coming years.”

Titans sign talented Englishman Watkins

Soon-to-be Gold Coast Titans utility back Kallum Watkins

Already departing at season’s end, Kallum Watkins’ move will take place quicker, as he signs with the Gold Coast Titans from July 1. 

Watkins deal with the Gold Coast club will run until the end of the 2021 season.

Although their last dive into the English player market in Dan Sarginson did not go according to plan, they are hopeful Watkins can provide some intensity.

“Kallum is an exceptional talent,” Titans Head of Performance and Culture Mal Meninga said. “I have had to coach against him with the Kangaroos, and he is a very dangerous player.

“Importantly for the Titans however, he is also a very experienced player and a terrific leader.

“As captain of the Rhinos, he has shown the leadership qualities that will be a tremendous asset for the Titans.”

Meninga also said the signing of Watkins and young half Tanah Boyd is signalling the club’s intent to compete.

“After the signing of Tanah Boyd, we have made a statement about the future of the Titans,” Meninga continued.

“Now with Kallum, we are showing that we are also investing in immediate success, and that this club is capable of attracting the best talent in the game, from right around the world.”

Although he is excited about the new deal and what lies ahead, Watkins’ focus remains on the remainder of the Leeds Rhinos campaign.

“I am excited to be going to the Titans and the new challenge for me and my family,” Watkins said.

“It has all happened so quickly but my focus for now is on helping the Rhinos climb the table.

“I have had so much great support from our fans, sponsors players and staff and I will be doing my best, as I always do, before I leave.”

Cronulla Sharks enforcer Braden Hamlin-Uele signs new club deal

Cronulla Sharks prop Braden Hamlin-Uele

Perhaps a surprise packet for the Cronulla Sharks side this season, they have wasted no time in re-signing hulking prop Braden Hamlin-Uele. 

With interest from several other clubs, the Kiwi prop made a decision to remain with the Sharks for a further three seasons.

There was no hiding the emotion from Hamlin-Uele who praised the club and his time with them so far.

“I’m loving it here and Bomber (John Morris) has brought the best out in me and now I get to showcase my talents for another three years. I think I belong here,” Hamlin-Uele said.

Bringing some starch and punch off the bench, Hamlin-Uele’s impact has been noticed by the Sharks coaching staff.

“It’s a massive signing for us,” head coach John Morris said.

“This time last year I wouldn’t have thought that Braden would be signing a three-year contract with the club.

We’ve worked really hard with him to get him up to the level he is now and it’s a credit to himself.”“

“Everyone has seen what Braden has brought to our team this year. I’m so happy for him.

Injury forces lion-hearted Pritchard to retire

Parramatta Eels hooker Kaysa Pritchard

He gave it his all for the Parramatta Eels but injuries caught up with the lion-hearted Kaysa Pritchard, who has been forced to retire. 

On the back of shoulder, knee, chest and ankle injuries, as well as numerous physiotherapy appointments, the time was right to call it quits.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was an unfortunate incident that saw one of his testicles crushed in a then routine rugby league tackle.

That incident changed Pritchard’s career projection and prompted him to ask for indefinite leave to seek clarity on his future.

In the end, after 47 NRL games with the Eels and games for Samoa, Pritchard decided to retire but is grateful for the opportunities.

“I feel privileged to have played rugby league professionally, and I’m grateful for the opportunities that have come with it,” said Pritchard.

“I would like to thank all of the players, coaches and support staff who I have worked with, and I’d like to acknowledge all the fans and members who have supported me.”

His contribution to the club will not go unnoticed, with praise coming from club CEO Bernie Gurr and the club to honour him against the Broncos.

“Kaysa has been such a tough and fierce competitor, has always given his best and he will always be part of the Eels family,” said Gurr.

“Kaysa will be missed here at the Eels and we wish him all the best with his future.”

NRL Rd 14 Stats Breakdowns: Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights

Melbourne Storm hooker and captain Cameron Smith

The second stats breakdown of the day given the two clashes, this one previewing the Melbourne Storm v the Newcastle Knights.

The Storm have been a bogey team for the Knights in recent years and winning against the Storm is no easy feat.

Melbourne Storm v Newcastle Knights Stats Breakdown

The Melbourne Storm and Newcastle Knights have played on 41 occasions; the Storm have won 25, the Knights have won 15 and there has been one draw.

The Melbourne Storm won the opening clash between the two sides in round 20, 1998, taking the spoils 32-16.

The Newcastle Knights have lost the last six games against the Melbourne Storm and haven’t beaten the Storm since round 24, 2015.

Melbourne Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr has scored six tries in five games against the Newcastle Knights (one as a Tigers player, and five as a Storm player).
His last two games against the Knights have seen him score a double in each.

Suliasi Vunivalu has scored in every game against the Knights in his career so far; seven tries in five games, including two doubles.

Top try-scorers in this clash

Billy Slater (MEL) – 19
Timana Tahu (NEW) – 10
Anthony Quinn (NEW/MEL) – 9
Akuila Uate (NEW) – 9
Matt Orford (MEL) – 8
Danny Buderurs (NEW) – 8
Matt Geyer (MEL) – 8
Adam MacDougall (NEW) – 7
Sisa Waqa (MEL) – 7
Brett Kimmorley (MEL/NEW) – 5
Aaron Moule (MEL) – 5
Marcus Bai (MEL) – 5
Matthew Gidley (NEW) – 5

Former Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater

Top point-scorers in this clash

Cameron Smith (MEL) – 3 tries & 92 goals (196 pts)
Andrew Johns (NEW) – 3 tries, 58 goals & 2 field goals (130 pts)
Matt Orford (MEL) – 8 tries & 22 goals (76 pts)
Kurt Gidley (NEW) – 3 tries & 30 goals (72 pts)
Billy Slater (MEL) – 19 tries (76 pts)
Matt Geyer (MEL) – 8 tries & 7 goals (46 pts)
Timana Tahu (NEW) – 10 tries (40 pts)
Akuila Uate (NEW) – 9 tries (36 pts)
Danny Buderus (NEW) – 8 tries (32 pts)
Anthony Quinn (NEW/MEL) – 8 tries (32 pts)
Tyrone Roberts (NEW) – 2 tries & 8 goals (32 pts)
Brett Kimmorley (MEL) – 5 tries & 4 goals (28 pts)
Adam MacDougall (MEL) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Sisa Waqa (MEL) – 7 tries (28 pts)

Head coaching records

Danny Buderus (NEW) – 1/1 (100%)
Warren Ryan (MEL) – 3/4 (75%)
Craig Bellamy (MEL) – 23/31 (74.2%)
Michael Hagan (NEW) – 7/12 (58.3%)
Chris Anderson (MEL) – 2/6 (33.3%)
Brian Smith (NEW) – 1/5 (20%)
Rick Stone (NEW) – 1/5 (20%)
Wayne Bennett (NEW) – 1/6 (16.7%)
Malcolm Reilly (NEW) – 0/1 (0%)
Mark Murray (MEL) – 0/3 (0%)
Nathan Brown (NEW) – 0/6 (0%)

Newcastle Knights halfback Andrew Johns

Players to have played for both sides

  1. Robbie Ross – 1994-1995 (NEW) & 1998-2003 (MEL)
  2. Brett Kimmorley – 1994-1995 (NEW) & 1998-2000 (MEL)
  3. Paul Marquet – 1990-1996 & 2001 (NEW) & 1998-2000 (MEL)
  4. Rodney Howe – 1992-1993 (NEW) & 1998-2004 (MEL)
  5. Kirk Reynoldson – 2002-2004 (MEL) & 2005-2007 (NEW)
  6. Anthony Quinn – 2002-2006 & 2013 (NEW) & 2007-2012 (MEL)
  7. Adam Woolnough – 2002-2007 (NEW) & MEL (2012)
  8. Mitchell Sargent – 2002-2003 (MEL) & 2007 (NEW)
  9. Ben MacDougall – 2000 (NEW) & 2004 (MEL)
  10. Todd Lowrie – 2003-2006 (NEW) & 2010-2012 (MEL)
  11. Dustin Cooper – 2003-2004 (MEL) & 2005 (NEW)
  12. Antonio Kaufusi – 2003-2008 (MEL) & 2010-2011 (NEW)
  13. Clint Newton – 2001-2007 & 2014-2015 (NEW) & 2007 (MEL)
  14. Ben Cross – 2006-2007 (MEL) & 2008-2010 (NEW)
  15. Jeremy Smith – 2004 & 2006-2008 (MEL) & 2013-2016 (NEW)
  16. Matthew White – 2005 & 2007-2008 (NEW) & 2016 (MEL)
  17. Junior Sa’u – 2008-2012 (NEW) & 2013 (MEL)
  18. Richie Fa’aoso – 2008-2012 (NEW) & 2013 (MEL)
  19. Robbie Rochow – 2010-2011 & 2017 (MEL) & 2012-2016 (NEW)
  20. Tim Glasby – 2013-2018 (MEL) & 2019 (NEW)
  21. Kurt Mann – 2014-2015 (MEL) & 2019 (NEW)
  22. Slade Griffin – 2013, 2016-2017 (MEL) & 2018 (NEW)

Biggest winning margins

The Newcastle Knights biggest win over the Melbourne Storm was back in round 19, 2001, when they romped home to a 48-16 victory.

The Melbourne Storm’s biggest win over the Newcastle Knights was a 52-6 thrashing in round 7, 2006.

Players to be sin-binned/sent-off in this fixture

  1. Mark Hughes (NEW) was sin-binned in round 1, 2005.
  2. Steve Simpson (NEW) was sin-binned in round 18, 2007.

As always, if there are any issues with the content, any mistakes, or if you just want to see more or something else, please let us know.

NRL Rd 14 Stats Breakdowns: Gold Coast Titans v New Zealand Warriors

Former New Zealand Warriors half Shaun Johnson

The stats breakdowns continue, as we preview the Gold Coast Titans v New Zealand Warriors history.

The Warriors have the rub of the green over the Titans in recent times but with both sides playing inconsistently, is this the chance for the Titans to buck the trend?

Gold Coast Titans v New Zealand Warriors Stats Breakdown

The Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors have played each other on 26 occasions; the Titans have won just eight games, and the Warriors have won 17 with 1 draw.

The Warriors have won fifteen of the last seventeen games between the two sides.

The first match between the two sides was played in round 16, 2007, a 22-6 win to the Warriors.

David Fusitu’a has eight tries in nine games against the Gold Coast Titans.

Top try-scorers in this clash

Manu Vatuvei (WAR) – 12
Shaun Johnson (WAR) – 11
Konrad Hurrell (WAR) – 8
David Fusitu’a (WAR) – 8
David Mead (GLD) – 7
Anthony Don (GLD) – 7
Simon Mannering (WAR) – 6
Mat Rogers (GLD) – 5
William Zillman (GLD) – 5
Kane Elgey (GLD) – 5
Kevin Gordon (GLD) – 4
Jerome Ropati (WAR) – 4

Former New Zealand Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei

Top point-scorers in this clash

Shaun Johnson (WAR) – 11 tries, 32 goals & 2 field goals (110 pts)
Scott Prince (GLD) – 1 try & 31 goals (66 pts)
Manu Vatuvei (WAR) – 12 tries (48 pts)
James Maloney (WAR) – 2 tries & 19 goals (46 pts)
Michael Witt (WAR) – 2 tries & 14 goals (36 pts)
David Fusitu’a (WAR) – 9 tries (36 pts)
David Mead (GLD) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Konrad Hurrell (WAR) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Anthony Don (GLD) – 7 tries (28 pts)
Aidan Sezer (GLD) – 12 goals (24 pts)
Simon Mannering (WAR) – 6 tries (24 pts)
Mat Rogers (GLD) – 5 tries & 1 goal (22 pts)

Head coaching records

Brian McClennan (WAR) – 2/2 (100%)
Matthew Elliott (WAR) – 2/2 (100%)
Andrew McFadden (WAR) – 5/6 (83.3%)
Stephen Kearney (WAR) – 4/5 (80%)
John Cartwright (GLD) – 6/15 (40%)
Ivan Cleary (WAR) – 4/10 (40%)
Garth Brennan (GLD) – 1/3 (33.3%)
Neil Henry (GLD) – 1/7 (14.3%)

Players to have played for both sides

  1. Nathan Friend 2007-2011 & 2016 (GLD) & 2012-2015 (WAR)
  2. Bodene Thompson 2009-2012 (GLD) & 2015-2017 (WAR)
  3. Clinton Toopi 1999-2006 (WAR) & 2010-2011 (GLD)
  4. Konrad Hurrell 2012-2016 (WAR) & 2016-2018 (GLD)
  5. Dominique Peyroux 2011-2012 (GLD) & 2013-2015 (WAR)
  6. Lachlan Burr 2015-2016 (GLD) & 2019 (WAR)
  7. Agnatius Paasi 2014, 2018-2019 (WAR) & 2015-2017 (GLD)
  8. Karl Lawton 2016-2017 (GLD) & 2018-2019 (WAR)
  9. Leivaha Pulu 2016-2017 (GLD) & 2018 (WAR)

 

Biggest winning margins

The Gold Coast Titans biggest win over the New Zealand Warriors was a 36-12 win (24 pt victory) in round 20, 2018.

The New Zealand Warriors biggest win over the Gold Coast Titans was a 42-0 drubbing (42 pt victory) in round 25, 2014.

As usual, if we have missed anything or if there is something you want to see, please let us know and we can make the necessary amendments.

A tale of two halves as Raiders edge out resolute Sharks side

Cronulla Sharks utility back Josh Dugan

The Canberra Raiders somehow managed to hold on to win against a resolute Cronulla Sharks side, despite a sloppy second half. 

Led by captain Jarrod Croker, who scored the try that sealed the game and equalled club records in the process, it was a win despite the sloppiness.

Just over 10,000 fans at GIO Stadium went crazy when Croker took an intercept and iced the game for the Green Machine by merely taking the intercept.

The first half was all Canberra and the Sharks had no answer to the early onslaught.

The Raiders raced out to a 20-0 lead, their first points coming courtesy of a penalty goal.

Some early efforts were not capitalised on but Aidan Sezer would eventually break the duck when he sliced straight through a gap to score.

A tremendous acrobatic put-down saw the Raiders extend their lead, as Bailey Simonsson produced an effort for the ages to somehow score in the corner.

Croker then scored to equal Jason Croker’s club record of 120 tries.

With the way the game was heading, the Raiders were probably expecting to run away with it, as were their fans.

It didn’t work out that way as in quick succession, the Sharks nabbed two tries of their own.

Veteran backs Josh Dugan and Josh Morris were the scorers of those tries and suddenly, the lead was cut to just a converted try by half-time.

After the break, the Sharks continued to show their resolve as they peppered the Raiders line.

They were rewarded when Braden Hamlin-Uele powered his way over for a typical prop’s try.

Dugan then grabbed his second to make the game interesting, though Croker’s trusty left foot proved the difference.

Although pleased with how his side responded to trailing 20-0, it was how his side started the game that disappointed Sharks coach John Morris.

“I was happy with the way we found a way to fight back, but I was really disappointed with our start,” Morris said.

“We haven’t been starting well all year, we’ve won most of our games from behind and certainly coming down here to Canberra, of all places, you want to get off to a good start against a quality team.”

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart was pleased with his side and admitted that momentum is a funny thing and often hard to control.

“Games turn that way, sometimes they turn into a grind and one opposition has a lot of momentum,” Stuart said.

“Same thing happened against the Storm when they had that momentum on us, same thing against the Roosters and we were able to fight our way back into both those games.

NRL News Player of the Game

3. Josh Dugan

2. Jarrod Croker

  1. Bailey Simonsson

NRL Rd 14 Stats Breakdowns: Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks

Canberra Raiders captain and centre Jarrod Croker

Back by popular demand, our NRL stats breakdowns are back! We look at biggest wins, top try and point-scorers, general stats and much more. 

So, sit back – mainly the Canberra Raiders and Cronulla Sharks fans – and absorb the history of your two sides clashes.

Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks Stats Breakdown

The first clash between the two sides was a 44-5 victory for the Cronulla Sharks in round 10, 1982.

The two sides have played 76 games against each other; the Raiders winning 33, the Sharks 41 and 2 draws.

Canberra have won just two of the last eight games against the Cronulla Sharks.

Jordan Rapana has scored 9 tries in 9 games against the Cronulla Sharks.

Top try-scorers in this clash

Andrew Ettinghausen (CRO) – 12
Jason Croker (CAN) – 12
Ben Pomeroy (CRO) – 10
Colin Best (CAN) – 9
Brett Mullins (CAN) – 7
Laurie Daley (CAN) – 7
Luke Covell (CRO) – 7
Jarrod Croker (CAN) – 7
Mick Mullane Jnr (CRO) – 6
Chris O’Sullivan (CAN) – 6
Clinton Schifcofske (CAN) – 6
Gary Belcher (CAN) – 5
Mat Rogers (CRO) – 5
Paul Gallen (CRO) – 5

Top point-scorers in this clash

Jarrod Croker (CAN) – 7 tries & 61 goals (150 pts)
Clinton Schifcofske (CAN) – 6 tries & 37 goals (102 pts)
Luke Covell (CRO) – 7 tries & 36 goals (98 pts)
Mat Rogers (CRO) – 6 tries & 19 goals (62 pts)
Alan Wilson (CRO) – 4 tries & 22 goals (60 pts)
Ron Giteau (CAN) – 4 tries & 21 goals (58 pts)
David Furner (CAN) – 28 goals (56 pts)
Mal Meninga (CAN) – 4 tries & 19 goals (54 pts)
Gary Belcher (CAN) – 6 tries & 13 goals (50 pts)
Andrew Ettinghausen (CRO) – 12 tries (48 pts)
Jason Croker (CAN) – 12 tries (48 pts)
James Maloney (CRO) – 2 tries & 20 goals (48 pts)
Brett Kimmorley (CRO) – 4 tries & 15 goals (46 pts)
Todd Carney (CAN & CRO) – 4 tries & 15 goals (46 pts)
Ben Pomeroy (CRO) – 10 tries (40 pts)
Michael Gordon (CRO) – 20 goals (40 pts)

Head coaching records

Wayne Bennett (CAN) – 2/2 (100%)
Greg Pierce (CRO) – 2/2 (100%)
Ricky Stuart (CRO) – 5/6 (83.3%)
John Lang (CRO) – 10/14 (71.4%)
Stuart Raper (CRO) – 3/5 (60%)
Shane Flanagan (CRO) – 10/17 (58.2%)
Matthew Elliott (CAN) – 5/9 (55.6%)
David Furner (CAN) – 5/9 (55.6%)
Tim Sheens (CAN) – 8/16 (50%)
Allan Fitzgibbon (CRO) – 4/8 (50%)
John Gibson (CRO) – 3/6 (50%)
Ricky Stuart (CAN) – 4/10 (40%)
Mal Meninga (CAN) – 3/10 (30%)
Chris Anderson (CRO) – 1/4 (25%)
Arthur Beetson (CRO) – 1/4 (25%)
Andrew Dunemann  (CAN) – 0/1 (0%)
Jamie Shepherd (CRO) – 0/1 (0%)
Neil Henry (CAN) – 0/4 (0%)
Terrence Fearnley (CRO) – 0/4 (0%)

Cronulla Sharks legend Andrew Ettinghausen

Players to have played for both sides

  1. Scott Dudman – 1978-1980 (CRO) & 1982-1983 (CAN)
  2. Phil Hurst – 1982-1983 & 1985-1987 (CRO) & 1988 (CAN)
  3. Jason Ferris – 1996 (CAN) & 1999-2001 (CRO).
  4. Colin Best – 1998-2002 & 2011-2012 (CRO) & 2007-2008 (CAN).
  5. Jason Williams – 2004 (CRO) & 2005-2006 (CAN).
  6. Andrew Lomu – 2004-2005 (CRO) & 2005-2006 (CAN).
  7. Todd Carney – 2004-2008 (CAN) & 2012-2014 (CRO).
  8. Bronx Goodwin – 2007-2008 (CAN) & 2009 (CRO).
  9. Blake Ferguson – 2009-2010 (CAN) & 2011-2013 (CRO).
  10. Josh Dugan – 2009-2013 (CAN) & 2018-2019 (CRO).
  11. Matt McIlwrick – 2012-2014 (CAN) & 2016 (CRO)
  12. Edrick Lee – 2012-2016 (CAN) & 2017-2018 (CRO)

Players sin-binned or sent-off in this clash

  1. Chris O’Sullivan & Gary Spears (both CAN), both sin-binned in round 6, 1983.
  2. David Grant (CAN), sin-binned in round 1, 1984.
  3. Mark McGaw (CRO), sin-binned in round 1, 1989.
  4. Paul Aiton (CRO), sent-off in round 1, 2011.
  5. Jordan Rapana (CAN), sin-binned in round 19, 2018.

Biggest winning margins

The Cronulla Sharks biggest win over the Canberra Raiders was a 44-5 victory (39 pt margin) in round 10, 1982.

The Canberra Raiders biggest win over the Cronulla Sharks was a 56-12 demolition in round 16, 1994.

If we have missed anything or if you want to see anything added, please, let us know.

Bulldogs add Kiwi international Watene-Zelezniak effective immediately

Now Canterbury Bulldogs utility back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak

Capitalising on the Penrith Panthers decision to release Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, the Canterbury Bulldogs have signed the utility back effective immediately.

The 18-month deal at the Bulldogs is effective immediately and will see the Kiwi international at the club until at least the end of 2020.

A member of the club’s 2013 Holden Cup premiership winning team, Watene-Zelezniak enjoyed a solid career at the Panthers.

Also playing 106 NRL games for the club and scoring 41 tries, he was thanked for his service to the Panthers.

“As a local junior and a product of the Panthers development system, Dallin has given our club great service,” Panthers CEO Brian Fletcher said.

“While we’re obviously disappointed to release him, we do so knowing it is in the best interests of both parties.

“We extend our sincere thanks to Dallin for his contribution at Panthers and wish him the best of luck for the future.”

Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill was pleased with the signing of the Kiwi international.

“The acquisition of Dallin is fantastic news for the club and the vision we have going forward,” Hill said.

“Not only is Dallin a great player but he is a quality person and a leader.

“As the current Kiwi captain, he provides us with both class and proven ability and he will be a major addition to our backline.”

Whitbread extends Titans stay

Gold Coast Titans captain Jai Whitbread

A promising talent at the Gold Coast Titans, Jai Whitbread will be sticking around for at least two more seasons after signing a new deal.

Initially starting out at the Brisbane Broncos in their U20’s system, it was a chance to move closer to family that saw Whitbread move to the Gold Coast.

His debut came in 2018, although it has only been in 2019 that Whitbread has seen more regular first-grade.

With six games to his name so far, Whitbread is grateful for the opportunity to continue playing at the Titans.

“It’s a very exciting time, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity the club has given me to extend my stay here for another two years,” Whitbread said.

“I believe I’ve developed as a player, with the help of the coaches and high-performance staff.”

Whitbread admits that the chance to return home and with family close by to watch, makes playing for the club that much better.

“Being home has helped me enjoy my footy that little bit more, and getting to play first-grade footy in front of my family and friends is a dream come true,” the young forward continued.

“It’s great to have re-signed at a club that I’m loving being at, and I’m really looking forward to the next two years.”

Whitbread is making  sure Titans coach Garth Brennan notices him, as the coach talked him and his development up.

“Jai started with the club at the same time as I did, and he is a young kid who has impressed me across every facet of the game,” Brennan said.

“His work ethic and attention to detail during training and game preparation is to be applauded and he is now reaping the benefits as part of our NRL side.”

Home-grown talent is key for the Titans and Brennan looks forward to seeing Whitbread continue his development.

“Jai is an example of what I want to develop here on the Gold Coast,” continued Brennan.

“I want to produce home-grown NRL talent and turn the Titans into a genuine development club.

He has matured as a player, and it’s good news for the club that he has chosen to remain a Titan for the next two years.”

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