Elgey and Taylor want to stuff it to critics
GOLD Coast Titans five-eighth Kane Elgey says he and playmaking partner Ash Taylor are ready to "prove everyone wrong".
The Titans will kick-off a new era under coach Garth Brennan in Sunday's NRL season opener against the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium.
Brennan has named Elgey and Taylor as the Gold Coast's starting halves and backed the young duo to fire despite their struggles last season.
In the 19 games they played together in 2017, Elgey and Taylor only guided the Titans to victory three times as the Gold Coast slumped to 15th on the ladder.
Elgey, 24, said the slate had been wiped clean since Brennan took over from Neil Henry and he was ready to launch into a new season.
"It was like a new start," he said.
"I've been here since I was 15 but it was like going to a new club, you had to prove yourself.
"We're excited. It's been a good pre-season.
"We want to get out there and prove everyone wrong."
Taylor, 22, is the more experienced of the duo, having playing 47 NRL matches since making his debut for the Broncos in 2015.
With Elgey's 35 matches, the halves have a combined tally of 82 NRL games between them, proving they are still in the infancy of their partnership.
"Like anybody else, you grow with experience," Taylor said. "We are only a young pair of halves. We've played 80-odd games between us.
"That's a very inexperienced halves combination. We'll keep working hard on our combination. We've had some time now to work together and I think it's coming along nicely."
Since arriving at the club, Brennan has given Elgey and Taylor the keys to the Gold Coast.
He wants the young shot-callers to take control of the Titans and assert their authority on a side needing direction.
While the combination struggled last season, Brennan said he was ready to remain solid.
"I've got no reason why the two of them can't work well together," he said.
"They are determined to improve. I've asked Ash to be a leader of the team and he's embraced it and accepted every challenge I've thrown at him.
"He wants to be the best. He's got some work to do to get there but he is driven to get there.
"Kane has put on 3-4kg of muscle. He was criticised for his defence in the past but you tell me a halfback that's not targeted.
"He has worked really hard. I'm confident he can hold his gloves up against any club that wants to challenge him."
Brennan named former Roosters fullback Michael Gordon in the No.1 jersey for the Raiders clash while former Broncos backrower Jai Arrow will start in the front row, allowing captain Ryan James to stay on the left edge.
Winger Anthony Don (shoulder), prop Morgan Boyle (shoulder), backrower Kevin Proctor (throat) and Arrow (ribs) will make their first appearances of the season after missing the trials.
Maroons prop Jarrod Wallace will miss the first two matches of the season due to a suspension from last year.