Tag Archive: Nathan Friend


Laffranchi gives injury an extra week

Mended Titan Anthony Laffranchi has the Broncos in his sights after admitting another week on the sidelines would ensure they were no setbacks yesterday. Confident he could get through this weekend’s match-up with Melbourne, Laffranchi, who suffered a setback in his comeback from off-season shoulder and wrist reconstructions when he tweaked a hamstring, said with only five days before the meeting with Brisbane the risk was not worth taking. “I’m definitely fit and if I had my choice I would like to get on the plane for Melbourne,” Laffranchi said. “I’m back to full training this week but as they say with a hamstring ‘if it feels good give it that extra week’.” “Coming off the back of Melbourne and the short turnaround if I can get the kilometres up this week and get back running with the team (next) Monday I should be right to get stuck into Brisbane.” Faced with the toughest road trip in the league when they meet the Melbourne Storm in the Victorian capital on Saturday night, the Titans will name the same squad who went down to world champions St George Illawarra last weekend. The only change could come with the return of 18th man Mark Minichiello, who is expected to travel south and force his way into the 17-man lineup after getting another week of rest last weekend. Continue reading

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Titans stick with Capewell at 6

Titans coach John Cartwright liked enough of what he saw of Luke Capewell to persevere with him in the No.6 jumper despite his losing debut against St George Illawarra on Saturday night. Cartwright also declared the Preston Campbell experiment off the bench as a back-up hooker a big success although cautioning how much punishment he could subject his new lightweight super-sub to in the role. Capewell showed enough to give Cartwright hope he will fill the key role left vacant by the retirement of dual international, Mat Rogers, although he has a bit of work to do on his kicking game to take help some pressure of Scott Prince. “I was really happy with Luke. I thought he showed in the second half especially some broken field stuff to suggest he’s going to be a good player,” said Cartwright. “He’s finding his way. “He’s a real quiet kid, a country boy but the quicker he gets comfortable within the side, he is going to offer us a lot.” Capewell roamed around hanging off players in the ruck looking for an opportunity to use his speed and clever footwork. Continue reading

Nathan Friend to miss the first three rounds

Tenacious Titans hooker Nathan Friend has officially been ruled out for the first three rounds of the Gold Coast’s premiership campaign after meeting with a specialist about his injured shoulder. While there was speculation he could bolt back into the selection frame for Round 1 against the Dragons, the hard-working rake now has to come to terms with being sidelined for a further month. A disappointed Friend yesterday said while he hoped to mount a comeback earlier, medical advice was he bide his time rather than risk further damage. Friend said he would resume contact training after the club’s Round 3 clash with the Broncos and push for selection for the Round 4 away trip to Canberra to do battle with the Raiders. 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 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

DT Best Performers – Best of the Hookers

This week, the final week before the finals start, I will take a look at the best performers in remaining three key positions, Hookers, Front Rowers and the Second Rowers.  Their individual stats below are current to their round 21 performances.

For the hookers I have used the bench mark score of 45 for the last two columns.  There is not a lot for me to say, the stats tell the story.  At this end of the season you wont find many of the top teams in the DT or NEX that have a combination that includes someone outside the top 5. 

However if money is the problem and you are looking at other options based on current for then Matt Hilder might be worth a look.

 

GMS

Ave Pts Tries  Goals MG TA KM Oth Lost Points >= 45

% >= 45

Smith, C

15

54.27 814 86 71 560 127 44 -74 13

86.67%

Farah

19

51.58 980 12 111 666 199 82 -90 12

63.16%

Friend

19

46.58 885 0 98 825 17 44 -99 10

52.63%

Luke

15

44.07 661 124 190 369 14 96 -132 8

53.33%

Ballin

19

43.42 825 12 76 731 62 26 -82 7

36.84%

McCullough

16

38.25 612 16 56 551 23 32 -66 0

0.00%

Hilder

18

36.94 665 8 103 600 14 18 -78 5

27.78%

Priddis

18

36.11 650 4 69 603 1 30 -57 1

5.56%

Kingston

19

34.11 648 20 80 584 12 40 -88 0

0.00%

Matt Hilder HOK/2RF @ $267,800.00 averaging 36.94.  This is another one of those players who has had a season in two halves.  By round 10 Hilder had lost $92,300.00 from his round 1 starting price of $287,800.00.  He played 9 rounds during that period where his highest score of 37 came in round 10 against the roosters and his lowest scores were a 27 in round 5, 25 in round 6, 24 in round 7 and another 25 in round 9.  Since round 10 he has played 9 games with his lowest score of 33 coming in round 19.  It’s only his form and scores in the last 5 rounds that have showed some of the form that made him worth having in your team in 2009.  With only one score in the 30’s the other 4 scores have been a 48, 51 and a pair of 46’s in rounds 20 and 21.  It’s the tackling that dominates his DT points, 40 plus tackles in all but 1 of the last 5 games.  There is a down side though, his mistakes averaging 5.2 in the last 5 games.  All those 40’s could have been 50’s.

Stat Chat

Two of the NRL’s most prolific tacklers will face off in the middle of the park when the Vodafone Warriors face Gold Coast in Sunday’s 21st-round clash at Mount Smart Stadium. Over the last four seasons, Vodafone Warriors loose forward Micheal Luck and Titans hooker Nathan Friend have consistently featured among the competition’s top tacklers. Friend, ranked second behind Canterbury-Bankstown’s David Stagg (818) this season, goes into Sunday’s contest with 775 tackles in 18 matches – an average of 43.1 a game – while Luck is fifth with 631 in 15 games, an average of 42.1 a game. Last year Luck ranked third among all players, tackling his way to the Vodafone Warriors’ Lion Red Player of the Year title with 1053 tackles in 23 matches, an extraordinary average of almost 46 a game (the highest for any player in the competition) while Friend had 1049 in 26. The previous season Luck headed the list with 957 to Friend’s 887 while in 2007 the Vodafone Warrior was also No 1 with 959 and Friend, who had joined the new Gold Coast club from Melbourne, was ninth with 777. Luck was regularly used as a bench player in his 76 games for the Cowboys from 2001-2005, making a total of 1491 tackles at an average of 19.6 a game but his defensive work rate has almost doubled in his time with the Vodafone Warriors, his 4171 tackles in 113 appearances equating to an average of 36.9 a game. At his current output, Luck could reach 6000 tackles in his career before he brings up his 200th NRL appearance (in 189 games his has made 5662 tackles).

With just two more rounds before the finals start I thought I would introduce something new and look at the best performances each weekend in the lead up to the big one, The 2010 NEX-Cup Grand Final.

As we all look for something extra to secure our spot in the finals you can bet the real NRL coaches will be doing what they can to secure their spot as well.  We should finally see some consistent performances from the NRL front runners, which should mean regular high 700 plus scores from our coaches like we saw in round 20.

The criteria for my review are the players must be a regular in their clubs line up each week, averaging 40 or more for the season and posted a score of 55 or better in the particular round.

(74) Paul Gallen 2RF @ $332,600.00, a jump of $10,600.00, now averaging 51.12 from 17 games.  In 17 games he has only had 1 score below 40 and that was a 38 way back in round 2.  His 74 in round 20 tops his previous high score of 65 in round 4 against the Eels and since then he has only 4 games below 50.  The score of 74 came from 48 TA, 19 MG and 10 OL.  I had a chance to pick him up in round 8 when he reached a season low of $319,000.00 but didn’t because I was concerned about loosing him through suspension.  Other coaches may have had the same opinion because he only owned by 11.85%, a total of 11,501Continue reading

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