Life’s good again for Elgey at Titans
Posted on 04/25/20 7:43 PM
Gold Coast half Kane Elgey is in his fourth year as an NRL player.Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan expects Kane Elgey to fire against Manly in Gladstone after his five-eighth hit form in last week’s NRL win over Brisbane.
By the Titans’ own admission, Elgey is one of the true confidence players of the competition.
This year alone he has endured difficult outings against both the Warriors and St George Illawarra, making two handling errors in both losses and missing a combined nine tackles.
But after setting up two tries in last week’s upset win over the Broncos, Brennan said he’d seen a clear response from the 24-year-old.
“He’s just a confidence player, Kane. We all know that,” Brennan said ahead of Sunday’s match.
“Most good players, and halfbacks, are confidence players. When all good players are down on confidence, their form tends to struggle.
“Kane was great last week and his training was outstanding.
“I’m really hoping he can build on his confidence. I believe in him, the players believe in him.”
While Elgey’s spike has been noted around Titans training this week, Manly will be boosted by the addition of the fit-again Dylan Walker and the likely inclusion of fullback Tom Trbojevic, who is considered a strong chance to return from an ankle injury.
One of the Gold Coast’s best young juniors, Elgey knocked back an offer from the Sea Eagles during his rookie year of 2015.
However, injuries ruined his 2016 campaign and he struggled to strike up a combination with equally-young half Ash Taylor last year.
But according to captain Ryan James, a return to more instinctive football was part of the reason behind him getting back to his best against Brisbane.
“He said he was going back to playing instinctive footy. And when he’s playing confident and playing instinctive footy that’s when he’s playing his best,” James said.
“He just needs to find that confidence himself. If you’ve watched him train, he has those games in him. He’s just got to back it up week to week.
“Everyone seems to forget he is pretty young, so there is still a lot of time on his side.”
Elgey’s decision to reject Manly formed something of a sliding-doors moment.
At the time, the Sea Eagles were in search of a replacement half after Daly Cherry-Evans’ signing with the Titans, before they eventually convinced him to stay at the club.
The Titans instead picked up Taylor, and Brennan said the Gold Coast had now well moved past the Cherry-Evans drama.
“He’s at a different level to Ash is,” Brennan admitted.
“Ash is exciting because the future is ahead for Ash. Whereas Daly is probably at his peak right now which is why we have to be at the top of our game this weekend.”
STATS THAT MATTER
* This will be the first NRL match ever played in Gladstone.
* Manly have won four of their past five against the Titans.
* The winning margin has been at least 20 in the past three matches between the teams.
* Stats courtesy Fox Sports Stats