Titans call on Taylor to continue steering ship
THE Titans will demand Ashley Taylor remain the dominant voice on the field despite the return of fellow spine members Tyrone Roberts, Nathan Peats and Jarryd Hayne for tonight's crucial clash against the Wests Tigers.
Taylor was forced to take all the decision-making responsibility last week, with injury and Origin duty decimating the Titans' stocks.
Roberts is battling to recover from a shoulder injury but if he takes his place at Campbelltown tonight, coach Neil Henry still wants Taylor to be the main on-field voice.
"I think we still do need him to be dominant, he's our main kicker and he's warming to that role as a young, developing half," Henry said.
"He's got a good kicking game and he needs to command the ball on both sides and he's a good runner of the ball as well.
"We didn't really have a partner with him last week and we didn't get too much cohesion in attack, particularly in the second half, so we fell away a bit there.
"The forwards are creative enough and they need to play off (hookers) Peatsy and Pat Politoni, and take on that responsibility to create something in that middle third, and then (Taylor) has got a bit more room to run."
Taylor said he enjoyed the challenge of being the sole playmaker against Souths and would do it again if he had to.
"The boys did find it a bit easier when it was only one voice on the field," Taylor said.
"But in saying that, it makes it a bit harder for me with kicking because they know I'm the sole kicker in the team and wherever I am on the field is where the ball's going to be.
"Hopefully all those players (backing up from Origin and injury) do back up on the weekend.
"We need as much experience on the field as we can to finish off the season strong."
"We need to win pretty much every game from here on in. It's a big challenge and we're all putting our hand up for it and we all want to be a part of it."
Taylor left the field late in the Titans' loss to the Rabbitohs for a head injury assessment and trained lightly this week due to a groin injury but declared himself a certain starter tonight.
The Gold Coast is hoping to turn around its recent fortunes against the Tigers after three consecutive losses, results Taylor said were particularly frustrating given the team's ability.
The Titans remain the only club to have beaten top teams Melbourne and Cronulla this season but their finals hopes hang by a thread.
"(It is frustrating), especially when we do step up for those big games and when it comes to teams that are on the same page as us, we sort of can't step up to the same level we were at those (big) games," he said.
"That's what we need to do to win games and we just need to keep competing hard."