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Bird hopes it's not close again

By Wayne Heming 13/07/2010 06:11:42 PM Comments (0)

After two gut-wrenching defeats in 48 hours last week, Gold Coast five-eighth Greg Bird hopes Friday's NRL derby with Brisbane doesn't come down to a field goal.

Bird was on the wrong end of two long-range field goals, the first, a 47-metre effort by Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer in the third State of Origin clash in Sydney.

He then watched a monster 52-metre kick from of Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall sail over the bar in the Gold Coast's 15-14 loss to the Tigers at Campbelltown.

Bird, who resumes his battle with Lockyer at Skilled Park said the Titans owed Brisbane after they knocked them off at Suncorp Stadium earlier this year.

"Hopefully he (Lockyer) doesn't jag one (field goal) or either of the halves do from near halfway," said Bird.

"There were two in three days, which was a bit upsetting.

"It's definitely going to be a tight one but hopefully there's more than one point that separates us at the end of 80 minutes."

Bird couldn't recall two field goals kicked from so far out in the one round.

"You do see them in some games but to see two in one week is a bit different," he said.

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak dispatched three first graders to the Queensland Cup this weekend with competition for forward spots red hot.

Scott Anderson, Lagi Setu and Ashton Sims will play for Queensland Cup clubs while two other youngsters, Corey Parker and Gerard Beale will play in the Toyota Cup team.

It's a great position for Brisbane to be in as they build up steam for the finals with only centre Justin Hodges on the club's injury list.

"It's lucky for the club to be in this situation at the moment after we had a pretty bad run with injuries at the start of the season," said prop Nick Kenny, back in the starting pack following a frustrating battle with a calf injury.

"We're all back on deck except for Hodgo (Hodges) whose comeback from an achilles injury has been put back.

Kenny said Bird, who seemed to rise to the occasion against Lockyer, had found some dangerous form in recent weeks.

"He (Bird) does lift but Locky is used to guys trying to rattle him every week," he said.

"He's a champion player and he'll handle it like he always does."

Kenny predicted the Titans would have problems of their own handling centre Israel Folau, who is keen to end his time with Brisbane on a high.

"I'd hate to be the wingers or centres lining up against when those high balls go up," smiled Kenny.

Kenny has reclaimed his starting spot following a frustrating battle with a calf injury.

"I've never missed that much footy and it was fairly frustrating," he said.

With Bird hungry for a win and skipper Scott Prince admitting he held back last weekend against the Tigers to protect a hamstring injury, Brisbane are in for a tough night at Skilled Park where the Titans don't lose too many.

"You can cost along, get a few wins and get a bit too comfortable. I think we may have done that," said Bird of the narrow loss to the Tigers.

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