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Broncos legend Darren Lockyer has said half of the Titans Ash Taylor has historically been the club’s “whip”, but in 2021 it will also fall on all-star signings David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui to stand up. and to appropriate.
The Titans went through to 2021, bolstered by their highest expectations in years, thanks to a stellar end-of-season run last season, plus a pair of huge off-season acquisitions.
Before the first round, the addition of Fifita and Fa’asuamaleaui had a lot of support from the resurgent Justin Holbrook squad to make a number on the Warriors who were forced to relocate for a second year in a row due to the global pandemic.
But what happened was a classic account of what rugby league great Greg Alexander described. “failing to live up to all the hype” as the Titans slipped out of the blocks with a 19-6 loss on the Central Coast.
Taylor was far from impressive, finding no combinations with Fifita and Fa’asuamaleaui, which will be of concern if the club are to do better than last year’s ninth place finish and advance to the final series.
Lockyer said the team had bypassed the training work required to introduce new elements to their game, instead going to the first round with the hope that everything would magically come together at the park.
QLDER: Can the Broncos turn the tide in 2021? – Round 1
“They looked flat,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER. “Maybe they all thought they had to show up and do their jobs and they would win.
“One of the traps you can fall into when you have those big bodies outside is that you forget that you have to put the platform down first. Sometimes you can be guilty of playing with your strength without doing difficult jobs first.
“Ash has been the whip there for a while now, but now you have David and Tino who are just young, but they came in as great scouts, so the pressure will be absorbed by these bigger players.”
Lockyer’s sighting comes as Immortal Andrew Johns reminded Taylor and his partner Jamal Fogarty that they were not playing “Under 8s” after failing to bring Fifita and Fa’asuamaleaui into the match.
“There are a lot of new suits out there, there could have been some nerves figuring out how each one plays,” Johns told Wide World of Sports’ Immortal behavior. “They need to sort this out as soon as possible.
“But they have strike players over there in David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, it’s the halves’ job to create the game and make room for these guys.
“What I saw in the first round, they just threw the ball at them and said ‘do something.’ It’s not under 8 that you don’t give it to the big kid and you do. pause.
“It’s the job of the halves, they have to build a formation or games or shapes, which gives these back-end rowers the ability to move. I haven’t seen that.
“It’s not the coach’s job, it’s the halves’ job to understand the strengths of the players around them, how they want the ball and where they want the ball. That’s the challenge for them. halves of the Titans. I thought they were. poor. “
After bursting onto the scene as a junior, Taylor has yet to have a season where he has lived up to his hefty price tag after signing a million-dollar-per-season contract at the end of the season. season 2017.
His physical form has been challenged, as has his appetite to be the man of choice when his team is under pressure.
Johns urged the playmaker to start emulating the facets of the game of Cowboys legend Johnathan Thurston, the Queensland legend building a legacy as one of the biggest heart-to-sleeve contenders the game has had. never seen.
“We’ve been saying for years that they need more Ash Taylor,” Johns said. “He’s like Corey Norman, we can see the talent he has, he just has to find that courage and that competitiveness.
“Go watch some Johnathan Thurston tapes. (Taylor) probably has a little more skill than JT, but JT just competed in every aspect of the game. That’s what we need from Ash Taylor.
“He’s got the talent, but for some reason he’s lost a bit of confidence. Fingers crossed for the Titans and for Ash, I hope he gets this breakout year.”
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