Henjak issues double warning - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak issues double warning

By Wayne Heming 15/07/2010 07:50:16 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak has issued a warning to his players of the dual dangers posed by Titans halves Scott Prince and Greg Bird in Friday night's NRL showdown at Skilled Park.

Brisbane are well equipped in the halves department with Peter Wallace and Darren Lockyer but Henjak spoke highly of their rivals after the Broncos breezed through their final training session on Thursday morning.

After easing back from a hamstring injury with a quiet game against the Wests Tigers last weekend, Prince has declared he plans to go flat out against his former club.

"I caught an interview (with Prince) through the week where he said it's time for him to throw the shackles off and have a real crack and give it (the hamstring) a good test," said Henjak.

Bird's performance for NSW in last week's third Origin was an ominous warning he was close to his damaging best.

"He's certainly stepped it up in the last month that I've watched him play," said Henjak.

"He's getting that real physicality about him and he's starting to intimidate players.

"He's getting back to the old Greg Bird."

In a deep hole this time last season, Brisbane have emerged from the State of Origin period in great shape with their representative players, Lockyer, Israel Folau and Sam Thaiday all at the top of their games and a lot fresher than in previous years.

Such is their strength that Henjak was in the enviable position of being able to drop forwards Scott Anderson, Lagi Setu and Ashton Sims back to the Queensland Cup this weekend.

"The boys are the best they've been for a long, long time here physically and mentally," Henjak said.

"They often come back flat or it's hard to get them up mentally but they're all good."

It's a much different story to the same time last year when Brisbane were in a pretty deep hole and struggling for fit bodies.

"We were in poor shape this time last year," said Henjak.

"We'd gone through four straight losses before we got a win and then had a bye.

"We had a lot of injuries and we had guys backing up from Origin and I think we lost the next three in a row.

"It wasn't a good period for us."

Titans veteran Mat Rogers said his side had got over the disappointment of their one-point loss to the Tigers and had prepared well to tackle Brisbane.

Rogers, who was critical of his finishing against the Tigers, faces one of the most difficult jobs in the NRL, matching up on giant Brisbane centre Israel Folau who just happens to have a stunning strike rate against the Titans.

Folau has scored 12 tries (for Melbourne and Brisbane) in five games against the Gold Coast.

"He's a big fella who gets a lot of attention, and rightly so," said the dual international.

"He's a great player, but there's 12 other players on the field, their wingers, their fullback, their halves, their back-row, they're all playing good football at the moment, led by probably the best player in the world (Lockyer).

Rogers said finishing minor premiers or missing the final eight were both in the equation with the competition so close.

"It's definitely game time," he said.

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