Tag Archive: greg Bird


Cartwright issues challenge to Bodene Thompson

John Cartwright has backed Bodene Thompson to become a regular starter in the Titans pack after declaring the position was “his to lose” ahead of tonight’s season opener against premiers St George Illawarra. Thompson will pack down alongside Greg Bird and Ashley Harrison in the backrow tonight and Cartwright was yesterday confident the emerging Kiwi talent would become a key component in their make-up this season. A graduate of the Titans’ Toyota Cup system, Thompson became a key contributor with 17 appearances last season but the coach expects more from the 22-year-old after an impressive off-season and trial form. “(Bodene’s) one of those young fellows who has been in our system since he was 16 or 17,” Cartwright said. “He’s been very fortunate that he has such a good-quality group around to learn from (but) it’s going to take a lot to shift him from the starting spot. “He was pushing all last year and he has an opportunity now and it’s up to him to hold it.” Continue reading

Capewell gets 6 for Titans

The form of budding pivot Luke Capewell has relieved one of Gold Coast coach John Cartwright’s biggest headaches ahead of their NRL season opener. But the Titans mentor admitted he would be wrestling with another major decision right up to Saturday night’s kick-off against the Dragons. Ex-South Sydney player Capewell gave Cartwright no choice but to slot the 21-year-old into the vacancy created by Mat Rogers’ retirement. It ensured Cartwright didn’t lose too much sleep over who to replace the dual international, with veteran Preston Campbell and Greg Bird also being in the initial mix. “He had a really good off-season, he didn’t miss any time – I thought he was the most impressive in the No.6 jersey of the guys competing for that position in the trials,” Cartwright said. Continue reading

Capewell and Rankin making moves

Greg Bird is set to be packed off to the Gold Coast Titans engine room, leaving two fresh-faced upstarts in a hot battle for the Titans’ No.6 jumper.This is the upshot of the Titans’ impressive trial in Coffs Harbour on Saturday night, when talented pivot prospects Luke Capewell and Jordan Rankin played cameo halves roles in the 42-4 slaughter of South Sydney. The pair are set to be face another acid test against North Queensland Cowboys halfback Johnathan Thurston in Cairns on Saturday night. If they again pass with shining colours, the Titans’ safe option of shuffling Bird into the No.6 jumper vacated by dual international Mat Rogers could be shelved before the NRL’s opening round to help to cover a long list of injured backrowers. “I want to have a good go this year,” Capewell said. “I’ve got my goals set, and six is where I want to be. Hopefully I can cement a spot there. Continue reading

Titans flog Souths

South Sydney coach John Lang has a major headache ahead of the Rabbitohs’ opening match of the NRL season after a 42-4 flogging by Gold Coast on Saturday night.

Already missing star signing Greg Inglis and with fellow internationals Sam Burgess, Isaac Luke and Michael Crocker under injury clouds as well, Lang’s worries were heightened with a further injury to backrower Ben Lowe during the trial match in Coffs Harbour on the NSW north coast.

Even accounting for the absence of his stars Lang would also be holding serious doubts over his attacking options as the tried and tested halves combination of Chris Sandow and John Sutton was virtually impotent against the Titans.

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has no such worries. Continue reading

Titans trial positions, a closer look …

The Jetstar Gold Coast Titans will roll out the big guns in Coffs Harbour this weekend, with Head Coach John Cartwright today naming a near full-strength line-up for Saturday night’s pre-season trial match against Souths. Jetstar Titans captain and halfback Scott Prince will form a new-look halves combination with Indigenous All Stars teammate Greg Bird while fellow stars Preston Campbell, Luke Bailey, Ashley Harrison, William Zillman and Coffs Harbour junior Kevin Gordon will all line up for their first pre-season matches for 2011. In a significant step for flyer David Mead, the Papua New Guinean International will play his first game since suffering a season-ending foot injury in Round 16, 2010 after being named in the starting line-up on the wing. Continue reading

Laffranchi could switch to the front

Gold Coast star Anthony Laffranchi admits he’d rather stay at second row, but says he’s prepared to move to prop if it means accommodating Greg Bird in the NRL club’s starting side. The Test and NSW State of Origin representative is one of the game’s best back-rowers, however Laffranchi was moved up front for the Wests Tigers under similar circumstances in the 2005 grand final. Coach John Cartwright, whose finals-bound Titans face the Sydney Roosters at the Sydney Football Stadium on Monday night, faces a selection headache over how to combine his strongest side. Bird is expected to make his return from a hamstring injury against the Roosters, and named on the bench. Before his month-long layout Bird was playing five-eighth, but the superb form of Mat Rogers in his absence has almost guaranteed the retiring veteran won’t be moved out of the halves. This could see for the former Cronulla star to move to lock where he starred for NSW in the third Origin match. Continue reading

Bird to miss a month, Harrison in doubt

The hamstring tear which has ruled out Gold Coast five-eighth Greg Bird for a month may also have grounded the Titans’ flagging NRL campaign. Bird, who has become an integral part of the Titans’ line-up since joining the club in the off-season, suffered the injury during last Friday’s 24-10 loss to Brisbane at Skilled Park. Scans on Monday confirmed a tear. The news couldn’t have come at a worse time for the ailing Titans, who have lost six of their last eight matches and could tumble out of the top eight with another loss to ladder leaders St George Illawarra on Friday night. The task of upsetting the Dragons could get even tougher with their other State of Origin representative Ashley Harrison in doubt with a knee injury.

Titans look to Mat Rogers for early return

Experienced Titans centre Mat Rogers is poised to make a shock return from a knee injury against Manly at Skilled Park on Friday as the Gold Coast desperately try to end their three-game losing run. Rogers has been missing from the Titans line-up since rupturing his medial ligament against St George Illawarra in round six. Despite fears he was facing 12 weeks on the sidelines, the decorated dual international is set to be rushed back against the Sea Eagles just eight weeks to the day since he suffered the injury. Rogers will not be named when Titans coach John Cartwright unveils his team today, but a club source last night said Rogers was rated a better than 60 per cent chance of bolting into the side later in the week. Continue reading

Trials round up.

As a NQ Cowboys follower, I expect no less from a player that has left our ranks under hazy circumstances other than to go onto success for another club. Travis Burns ($155,100 HLV) it seems will prove to be another statistic in this ever growing list, it has been reported he had a blinder and made an unforgettable statement in his pursuit to be the other half running along side Luke Walsh ($210,700 HLV) for the Panthers this season. Wade Graham ($167,200 HLV) is also looking to secure this position but after the weekend he may have the odds against him, also having had his differences in the past with Coach Elliott may work against his desire for a starting role. With Luke Lewis ($220,200 CTW/HLV), Petero Civinoceva ($271,300 FRF) and Trent Waterhouse ($307,800 2RF) to return the Panthers are certainly poised for an early attack in this years competition. The Eels on the other hand could possibly see reason for a little concern seeming they almost had their A side on the paddock, but with Daniel Mortimer ($268,000 HLV) and Ben Smith ($189,600 CTW/2RF) exiting because of injury early and Nathan Hindmarsh ($367,700 2RF) a no show, the Eels won’t be too worried.

PENRITH PANTHERS 32 (Travis Burns 2, Shane Elford, Luke Walsh, Michael Gordon, Ryan Walker tries; Michael Gordon 3, Travis Burns goals) def PARRAMATTA EELS 12 (Luke Burt, Ben Smith tries; Luke Burt 2 goals) at CUA Stadium. Crowd: 11,113.

The first half of the Dogs V Dragons line ups looked almost like a standard Telstra Cup fixture, with Jamal Idris ($153,300 CTW) for the Dogs showing what he is potentially capable of week in week out with his unique attacking style culminating in 2 tries for the giant youngster. Ben Barba ($91,100 HLV) also showed he is more than ready if veteran Brett Kimmorley ($237,300 HLV) should happen upon injury with some good touches when on the field. For the Saints, Nathan Fien ($211,500 HLV/HOK) continues to impress Coach Bennett, constantly threatening from Dummy Half and will no doubt slot into the run on side somewhere in this seasons Dragons campaign. In true trials fashion both sides made plenty of errors and it was difficult to split the two, defence being the only winner in this tight fought contest.

DRAGONS 16 (Lett, Green, Vickery Tries; Goodwin 2 Goals)BULLDOGS 14 (Idris 2, Nanai Tries; Turner 1 Goal)

Big things are expected from the Rabbitohs and the Titans this season, if we were to go by their rosters it should be a safe bet on a finals berth for both. The bunnies didn’t throw their big money forwards onto the field preferring to show off their depth against the Titans, and they held their own. For the Titans, the Prince ($287,300 HLV) Bird ($250,000 HLV/2RF) combination had another game to find the common ground between the flair and creativity of Prince mixing with the glass smashing brutality of Bird. The Bunnies youngsters, trying to capture the eye of Coach Lang had some flair of their own whilst the Titans proved to be more tradesman like in their performance. The Titans also played their bargain Ex Kiwi International Clinton Toopi (Not Listed) who brought plenty to the table.

Gold Coast Titans 28 (M Rogers, C Toopi, R Brown, S Prince, W Zillman tries; S Prince 4 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 22 (L Capewell 2, I Luke, J Vaivai tries; C Sandow 2, A Reynolds 1 goal). Crowd 5500.

Ben Te’o ($203,100 2RF) performed, scoring twice in what could may possibly be the year for the talented back rower, after showing plenty of potential the former Tiger may have finally settled within the Brisbane outfit. As reported, Israel Folau ($139,800 CTW) also shared the Fullback position with Corey Norman (Not Listed) who is only 18 but showing plenty of confidence and try scoring ability. Albeit an experimental outing for the Broncos it was considered successful. For the Green Machine it was Terry Campese ($331,900 HLV) and Joel Monaghan ($154,500 CTW) who stood ahead of the rest, behind a pack that never let them down. Dane Tilse ($195,600 FRF) ate up the metres while stalwart Alan Tongue ($238,800 2RF) proved that his workload is as high as ever and the Scott Logan ($162,100 FRF), Dane Tilse, David Shillington ($175,500 FRF) and Bronson Harrison ($292,200 2RF) combination could prove to be a dark horse in this seasons high profile packs.

Brisbane 32 d Canberra 24 *Will Post stats asap.