Michaels, Matthews rejoin Titans
STEVE Michaels and Will Matthews have been recalled to the Gold Coast Titans for Saturday's clash with the Sharks at Toyota Stadium.
Michaels makes his return after being rested from last Sunday's loss to Newcastle due to a series of head knocks, while St George Illawarra-bound Kyogle junior Will Matthews receives his chance to impress off the interchange bench in his first match of the year after battling some niggling injuries earlier in the season.
In other team changes, utility Luke O'Dwyer moves to lock in place of Greg Bird, who has been ruled out of the match with a hamstring injury and winger Dominique Peyroux moves into the centres for Clinton Toopi, who will drop back to the Queensland Cup with the Burleigh Bears.
Peyroux has played in the centres for the Seagulls all year.
With Titans coach John Cartwright still in hospital recovering from surgery, assistant coach Steve Murphy said the return of Matthews was reward for effort after a string of consistent performances for Queensland Cup feeder club Tweed Heads Seagulls.
“Will Matthews comes back into the side, which is great. He's been playing very well for Tweed Seagulls and we're more than happy for him to get the opportunity,” Murphy said.
Murphy said wholesale team changes were not the answer to the team's current predicament despite the disappointment surrounding last weekend's 50-20 loss to Newcastle.
“We're at the stage of the season where wholesale changes are not going to help us,” Murphy said.
“We've got to build combinations, that's part of the reason with Dom going to the centres.
“He's contracted at the club for next year so we want to see how he goes there.”
The Titans have won three from seven matches against the Sharks, but are yet to beat Cronulla on home soil at Toyota Stadium in three previous clashes.
“From our point of view, it's one of a few things left on our bucket list that we haven't achieved.
“We've never won down there and that's the approach we'll be taking into this week,'' he said.
“There's not a game we don't think we can win – we've been in every game, regardless of how we've been finishing games, we've been in the contest and for a number of reasons we haven't been able to come up with the result.''