Titans chairman Dennis Watt is an old footballer and he knows what works, even with the current generation.
On Saturday, the Titans team bus pulled up outside the Gold Coast home of Tommy Raudonikis and his partner, Trish Brown, en route to Brisbane for Sundays game against the Broncos.
Watt, a former chairman of the Broncos, knew Tommy hated his old club – whom he deemed the “new Silvertails” of the NRL, based on their new $30 million centre of excellence, annual profit and plethora of representative players.
The plan was for only three Titans to exit the bus, but when the players saw Tommy, circling the front lawn of his modest duplex as if he was about to enter the ring for another bout with his despised opponent whom he calls “Jack the Dancer”, the entire team alighted.
Many of the team had earlier seen Tommy on Fox Sports before the State of Origin game, where he declared “losing is sinful”.
While it didnt do enough to drive the Blues through the second half of the Brisbane Origin match, it sometimes takes a while with footballers for the message to sink in, even for a team returning to the same arena of NSWs defeat.
“I repeated my belief losing is sinful,” the inaugural NSW Origin captain said. “I told them the Broncos are the silvertails of the league. They get all the favours. I told the Titans to give them nothing.”
Asked how the modern players responded to a 1970s rhetoric, he said, “The respect they gave me was terrific. They stayed here for well over half an hour.”
The Titans bus arrived in Brisbane without star halfback, Ash Taylor, granted compassionate leave, amid reports off-season signing and former NSW player, Tyrone Peachey, wants to return to Penrith. Their problems were compounded by the loss of talented Bryce Cartwright prior to kick-off.
Watt predicted midweek that “Tommy will give them a lift”.
He was right. The Titans won 26-18, beating an undermanned Brisbane in front of 30,048 fans.
Centre Brian Kelly nabbed a double for the visitors while captain Tyrone Roberts was sensational, scoring 14 points including a solo try in the first half.