Boyd ‘can be regular Titans half’ but Sami scratched

Joel Gould |

Tanah Boyd (pictured) can be a long-term success in the NRL, Gold Coast coach Des Hasler says.
Tanah Boyd (pictured) can be a long-term success in the NRL, Gold Coast coach Des Hasler says.

Gold Coast have been hit with further injury trouble, with fullback Phil Sami failing a fitness test and Tanah Boyd in line for a possible recall at halfback.

The Titans had a light run on Friday ahead of Saturday night’s home clash with Manly.

Boyd, dropped for last week’s 21-20 loss to Canberra, was back training with the main group after being named on an extended bench.

Versatile AJ Brimson looms as the likely No.1 against the Sea Eagles.

Brimson played in the halves and stepped in at fullback last week after Jayden Campbell suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee that will rule him out for four to six weeks.

Sami had been named to line up against the Sea Eagles but failed a fitness test on Thursday with an ankle injury.

Boyd, who played Queensland Cup for Ipswich last week, was below his best in the opening rounds.

“Tanah just had to go back and work on a few areas of his game. He understands that,” Titans coach Des Hasler said.

“He played particularly well last week (for Ipswich) and we will see how he responds.”

Hasler was clear when asked if the 23-year-old Boyd, with 64 NRL games under his belt, could be a regular long-term half for the Titans.

“Yes, and the predicament we are in at the moment you can’t place on Tanah Boyd,” Hasler said.

That ‘predicament’ has the Titans in last position after five consecutive losses.

“The way the game is being played and won at the moment, it is all based around possession – and we haven’t been good at that,” Hasler said.

Queensland forward David Fifita has played three games since returning from a pre-season pectoral tear.

The 25-year-old has featured in two of those off the bench, including last week, and one as a starter in the second-row.

Fifita played 67 minutes off the interchange bench in Sunday’s Canberra loss and ran for a season-high 190 metres.

“It was probably because we knew where Canberra would go,” Hasler said when asked why Fifita did not start against the Raiders.

“We are still managing his time, his minutes, and how to best utilise someone like Dave given the fact he had no pre-season.

“We are getting him involved and trying to use him the best way we can, and his natural talents.

“It won’t be long before he may be starting full time.”