Titans pumped to flex muscles to quell Storm
DOMINATING the Storm through the middle will be crucial to the Titans beating the defending premiers at AAMI Park tonight and securing an unlikely finals appearance.
Crucial to that forward battle will be the availability of co-captain Nate Myles, who has been battling an ankle injury this week.
The Titans stood strong against the highly-rated Roosters pack last Sunday, coming away with an incredible 30-22 upset win.
Gold Coast co-captain Greg Bird said that same formula would be the key to victory against Melbourne, adding even a half-fit Myles would be a huge help.
"We've showed if you play complete football and be strong and physical in the middle, you can beat anyone," Bird said.
"I know if Nate's half-fit, he'll play, but it's whether he's going to be able to walk on it, let alone run.
"Hopefully he can struggle through it and the swelling drops, and he gets a bit of movement in it."
Even if Myles does not come up in time, Bird said he had faith his team could deliver a win in arguably the competition's toughest road trip, despite a horror injury toll that includes David Mead, Jamal Idris, Ashley Harrison, William Zillman, Luke O'Dwyer, Matt White and Mark Minichiello.
"We can't think about that (injuries). We haven't thought about it the last couple of away trips where we've had some success," he said.
"We'll take whoever is in the 17 down there and play to the best of our ability."
The Titans must beat Melbourne and hope either the Cowboys or Knights lose, to make the finals.
The premiers are fourth on the ladder, behind Manly on points differential, and will play either the Roosters or Rabbitohs in Sydney in week one of the finals, regardless of results this weekend.
Star fullback Billy Slater said playing the Titans presented an opportunity to fix the team's defence after its disappointing 28-8 loss to the Sea Eagles last weekend.
"Leaking 28 points is not ideal. We're going to have to make sure we concentrate on ourselves and get our own game right," Slater said.
He refused to be drawn on who Melbourne would prefer to play in the qualifying final, where the winner gets a week off and a place in the preliminary final.
"They are both great sides," Slater said.
"We played them both during the year and they are tough sides to compete against."
STORM V TITANS
At AAMI Park, 5.30pm
Also: Dragons v Warriors, 3pm; Cowboys v Tigers, 7.30pm.