Success has been hard to come by for the Gold Coast Titans but as they continue to rebuild, is 2019 their year? All this and more in part five of the NRL previews.
Although the Titans have had some high profile recruits in the past, the inconsistency and player upheaval has left them high and dry.
Under coach Garth Brennan who has worked hard to get the team he wants, can the Titans buck the trend and make a deeper run into the finals?
What to do with Cartwright?
Bursting onto the scene with the Penrith Panthers, the sky was the limit for Bryce Cartwright.
Very nearly reaching that limit, many wondered just how far he could go in the rugby league world.
Just when all seemed well and good, however, his Earth soon came crashing down from a personal perspective.
Attacked and criticised by an ex-partner across the media on numerous levels, it all bubbled up to the surface.
In the end, he decided to leave and so his Titans journey began.
Joining with much fanfare, it was a chance for a new start, a new opportunity, all away from the pains of home.
It proved anything but smooth sailing, however, as his form was heavily criticised by the media and by the club coach.
As 2019 rolls around, Cartwright has a chance to make amends. His ability is known, he just needs the consistency.
He needs the chance to prove that he can perform at the highest level well-enough to keep a spot.
Whether he can do that remains to be seen but if he digs deep and works hard, it may just be a goer.
The Peachey conundrum
Tyrone Peachey. A talented player, a versatile player, but just which position is his best in the NRL?
Versatility is nothing new in rugby league players; most players nowadays are more than capable of covering dual positions.
When you look at Tyrone Peachey, however, there is a lot of spread across all positions without one particular standout.
In the eyes of many, the lack of a true position damages his overall ability.
To some extent, being too versatile can mean you need more time to readjust when a positional change occurs.
Though Peachey must be doing something right seeing as he has been selected for Origin.
But back to the original point of where he fits in. The likely option would be the backline given the departure of several centres.
Though if the need for a back-rower arose, Peachey could very much fill that void.
For the Titans fans, where does he fit in for you?
Breaking the finals hoodoo
For some years, the Titans have had rather good rosters. Good enough to challenge for top eight spots.
When push has come to shove, however, those sides have fallen at the wayside, unable to cope with expectation.
The talent was there, the experience was there, but the execution was not and as a result, finals appearances have been few and far between.
With just three finals appearances in twelve years, you could say that the Titans are due and they have no better chance to strike.
With some astute signings, promising youngsters showing their class and existing players proving their mettle, the bull is ready to be taken by the horns.
As the culture builds under Garth Brennan who enters his second year with the club, time will tell for the Titans as to whether this can be the year they rejoin the finals.
Gains and Losses
Gains: Jesse Arthars (South Sydney Rabbitohs, 2019), Ryley Jacks (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Brian Kelly (Manly Sea Eagles, 2021), Tyrone Roberts (Warrington Wolves), Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers, 2021) & Shannon Boyd (Canberra Raiders, 2022).
Losses: Kane Elgey and Brendan Elliott (both Manly Sea Eagles), Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors), Konrad Hurrell (Leeds Rhinos) & Ryan Simpkins (retired).
Player to Watch
As potential spots in the Gold Coast Titans forward pack, one player on the cusp of regular selection is Jai Whitbread.
With just the one appearance to his name to date at the club, the hulking young prop made his impact felt with impressive runs.
As 2019 comes around, opportunity will be rife for Whitbread and with the club rating him highly, it may not be too long before he is a regular.
Another local junior to come through the club’s system, the young prop has impressed many with his work-ethic and approach in the Intrust Super Cup.
They have served him well as he fights for a spot in 2019.
NRL News Predicted Team
- Michael Gordon
- Philip Sami
- Tyrone Peachey
- Dale Copley
- Anthony Don
- AJ Brimson
- Ashley Taylor
- Jarrod Wallace
- Nathan Peats
- Ryan James (C)
- Kevin Proctor
- Keegan Hipgrave
- Jai Arrow
14. Tyrone Roberts
15. Shannon Boyd
16. Moeaki Fotuaika
17. Bryce Cartwright
Coach: Garth Brennan.