Storm to turn up heat on Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm to turn up heat on Titans

By Steve Jancetic 12/02/2007 09:48:32 PM Comments (0)

Having won the tug-o-war over winger Steve Turner, Melbourne look set to pile on more misery for NRL newcomers Gold Coast after naming a star-studded line-up for Saturday night's trial match at Coffs Harbour.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy named his strongest possible squad with only long-term injury concerns Michael Crocker, Antonio Kaufusi, Ryan Hoffman, Brett White and Adam Blair missing from his first choice side.

Utility sensation Greg Inglis has been given first crack at the vacant No.6 jumper with Australian Tri-Nations teammates Matt King and Cameron Smith also named in the starting 13.

It's in stark contrast to the outfit Titans coach John Cartwright will send out for the club's inaugural hitout, with none of the big name signings named in his 28-man squad for the match on the NSW north coast.

Bellamy claimed he couldn't care less who ran out for the Titans - admitting he didn't even know the make-up of Gold Coast side.

"It's none of my business - he can pick who he likes," Bellamy said.

"At the end of the day it's a trial game and he picks a team based on what he wants to get out of the trial.

"It doesn't really matter as far as we're concerned - we're more concerned about ourselves. I haven't even seen their team."

Cartwright is believed to be resting the likes of Scott Prince, Luke Bailey, Preston Campbell and Mat Rogers until the club's final trial against Penrith at Carrara on March 2.

Bellamy has awarded his stars no such luxury with last year's losing grand finalists keen to hit the ground running when the competition proper kicks off with a clash against Wests Tigers at Olympic Park on March 16.

"We take our trials pretty seriously - we don't take the result seriously," Bellamy said.

"We just want to see what we've got here and get some combinations going - we use the trials for a purpose.

"I know a lot of other clubs save their players, they're a bit worried about injuries, but that's part of our game. The sooner we get them out there the sooner they adopt to getting knocked around."

The match is sure to have more spice than your ordinary trial with the two clubs involved in a bitter wrangle over the services for winger Turner, who had signed a contract with both clubs.

Turner was eventually allowed to remain in the Victorian capital but only after the Storm agreed to release two other players to join the Titans.

Several other sides unveiled their sides for their opening trial matches this weekend with new Parramatta coach Michael Hagan naming Mark Riddell as skipper for his side's clash against Cronulla at Parkes on Saturday night.

First-choice halves Tim Smith and Brett Finch were not selected, with youngsters Feleti Mateo and Blake Green given a chance to show their wares in the top grade.

Rookie Canberra coach Neil Henry named a mixture of top grade and Premier League players in his side to play the North Queensland Young Guns in Rockhampton on Saturday, with halves Michael Dobson and Andrew Dunemann to play their first match in Australia since returning from stints in the English Super League.

Meanwhile Wests Tigers and Sydney Roosters will Tuesday unveil their line-ups for Saturday night's Foundation Cup clash at Aussie Stadium.

Most interest centres on whether Tigers coach Tim Sheens will name skipper Brett Hodgson, Paul Whatuira and Benji Marshall to make their return from long-term injuries.

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