While a Round 1 injury to star recruit Taliah Fuimaono may have forced the Titans to tinker with their line-up as they found the right combination in the halves, the team have been fortunate to have representative level players Evania Pelite and Brittany Breayley-Nati able to step up to help guide their spine.
Pelite – who has been a star at fullback this year after spending some time in the centres last year – has been a key contributor from the back, while the experience of Breayley-Nati has been instrumental in helping the Gold Coast’s next gen players find their feet in first grade.
Now on the eve of the Gold Coast’s second tilt at finals football, Breayley-Nati said it was a great feeling for the club to get back to be playing finals footy again, especially after putting in a strong season despite some early setbacks.
Match: Roosters v Titans
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
“Our first season in the comp we were in the finals, so it’s good to be back,” Breayley-Nati said.
“The five months has really flown by, but obviously with the loss of Fui in the first game, it interrupted the mix little bit, but we have got a lot of depth within our team.
“We went through a few different combinations in there, but I think for the last three weeks, we have been able to name the same side, so the coaches have done really well to get us to where we are, so it’s really exciting.
“I think we have a good balance of girls in the squad, there is obviously a lot of youth in our team, but it is balanced quite nicely with the more experienced girls.
“I think we have fed off the younger girls’ excitement and they have probably also learnt a lot from us about how to control those nerves leading into big games.
“We have had a lot of debutants this year, so being able to control those nerves and put their best foot forward on the day, I think that’s what we have been able to provide them with.”
Now in her third season with the Titans, having previously played with the Broncos and Dragons, Breayley-Nati is a key member of the club’s leadership group, serving as vice captain to Georgia Hale who took on the captaincy duties this year.
Hale said it was good to have some of Breayley-Nati’s experience – which includes representing the Jillaroos, Queensland and claiming the inaugural NRLW premiership with Brisbane – by her side.
“Britto is a legend on and off the field and I'm so fortunate to captain the side and follow in the footsteps of someone that's done such an incredible job,” Hale said.
“She leads in all ways and she's just a phenomenal person, so I'm just lucky to have her on my hip and we've got a great leadership group behind our playing squad.
“It's just so enjoyable to be on the field with her, but also in her company off the field.
“It's just nice to have her in my corner with all that she's done and her footy journey so far and what we want to continue to do together. It's just been so, so cool to share the locker room, the field and the training ground with her.”
This weekend, the Titans will take in the Roosters in semi-finals football and know they will need to put in a much more polished performance after the Tri Colours outclassed them in Round 5 at Cbus Super Stadium.
On that day, Tarryn Aiken tore them to shreds, but Breayley-Nati was confident her side would be able to things around.
“She is obviously a weapon and we have seen her display for Queensland that she is a great player,” Breayley-Nati said.
“Leading into it, we will review our last game against the Roosters – and obviously that was five weeks ago and I think us as a team, we have grown since then, so … we will focus on ourselves this week.
“I think the team that shows up on the day and the one that’s willing to go out there and leave nothing in the tank will be the one to walk out with the win, so I know that’s what we'll be doing this week, but it’s more just focusing on us.”