Rogers insists he's no fill-in for Bird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rogers insists he's no fill-in for Bird

By Ben Horne 22/07/2010 07:35:38 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast five-eighth Mat Rogers insists he's not just a fill-in for the injured Greg Bird and is determined to prove to coach John Cartwright that he should stay in the No.6 jersey.

The Titans veteran said the team would simply fold if players didn't have aspirations of taking their team-mates' spots.

Rogers said he's refound his spark this week, training at pivot for Friday night's crucial game against St George Illawarra at WIN Jubilee Oval.

Although his aim to relegate Bird to the bench is said to be tongue-in-cheek, he's serious about making life difficult for the NSW rep once he recovers from his hamstring injury.

"I'm happy to have everything against Greg, I was nice to him before he came, but not now," quipped Rogers.

"He said to me he'll be back in about a month, so I said: 'so he doesn't mind coming off the bench does he?

"I like playing five-eighth, I like playing in the centres, it doesn't bother me where I play, but I want to play well enough so I will give Carty a headache every week and make him make the decision.

"I don't want to be the sort of player ... where they get a shot in a position and they're just minding it for someone.

"I think if you're in a club like that then your club isn't going to go too well so everybody is pretty fired up including myself to play well and try and hold onto a position in the side and cement that spot."

Despite the attacking potential in their side, the Titans have struggled to maintain fluency in their attack in recent weeks. With Bird's style being to play more like a lock than a natural five-eighth, Rogers perhaps has the opportunity to inject his outside backs with a little more flair.

The dual-international, who said he's still a month away from deciding on his footballing future, is confident he can help the Titans get their faltering finals charge back on track.

"It should be fun. I've been back in the side now for about a month so I've certainly got plenty of running in the legs now, so moving back into the middle won't be a problem. I'm looking forward to it, running there this week has re-ignited the spark playing in there," he said.

"I'm excited about it, I don't play a game like Greg Bird, I don't play anything like Greg Bird. He's more like an extra back rower and he can kick a bit and pass a bit for us so I'm not going to be playing a back row type five-eighth role that's for sure."

Rogers believes teams who will finish just outside the eight this year would be more than capable of beating the top sides - such is the evenness of the competition.

He insists the Dragons clash isn't make or break, but admits a win would certainly boost the Titans' cause.

"We're not walking around kicking cans," he said.

"We haven't been far away the last few weeks so it's not panic stations for us yet."

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