Hot-stepping Warriors star has Titans on high alert
THE Titans' season could rest on their ability shut down enigmatic Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
The Gold Coast will today wear jerseys bearing the names of 115 players that have turned out for the club over its first 10 years but it's the man in the Warriors' No.1 jersey that will have the Titans' attention.
Tuivasa-Sheck is averaging 162m a game from the back as he carves through opposition defences to spark the Warriors attack.
Titans coach Neil Henry knows his side can't afford to let him run amok if it is to turn around a seven-year losing record to the Warriors at Robina and spark a run to the finals.
"Their fullback's very quick and steps off both feet, they have big wingers and they rely on their outside backs and early carries," Henry said.
"Sheck's certainly a handful midfield against our big boys so it's a big job for us.
"If you can land the ball on him and you can turn up at the same time, you can make the tackle straight away, so there's a bit of timing involved there in the execution of the kick.
"But the rest of the time, I prefer to get down there in good numbers and cover the field against him.
"He's certainly dangerous."
Tuivasa-Sheck is not the only danger for the Titans though.
Kieran Foran made his NRL return against the Titans in round five, scoring a try in the Warriors' 22-12 win at Mt Smart Stadium.
"He's a dangerous player," Henry said.
"He's at his best playing in front of the play-the-ball, flat and fast and he's a strong carrier of the ball.
"It was his first game back last time against us and he sliced through for a try against us.
"He's dangerous and he's got a good kicking game as well so he's certainly one to watch, and you've got Shaun Johnson too who's electric too and got good footwork.
"With their fullback and both their halves they certainly test you, so defensively we need to be better."
The Titans defended well against the Cowboys last week but handed over too much possession through errors and conceding penalties, and cannot afford the same again today.
"You need an even share of possession - even more than that - against this team," Henry said.
"Their form has been up and down, ours has been the same.
"Both teams are desperate to stay in touch with the top eight and ... we haven't been able to be successful against them at Robina, so it's time to turn the tables."
The Titans will announce their team of the decade before today's match, with their history something Henry will unashamedly use to motivate his players as they seek to spark a push into the top eight.
"I think it's a special occasion," Henry said.
"We'll certainly be talking to the boys about the importance of the occasion and having a few old boys here will be fantastic."