A psychological masterstroke by Gold Coast Titans coach Garth Brennan has been credited by NRL.com expert Steve Renouf as inspiring a remarkable comeback win in round one.
In this week’s NRL Podcast, Renouf harks back to a statement a month before season kick-off where he publicly stated that new recruit forward Jai Arrow would be in his team come what may.
Arrow did not play a trial and was on the comeback trail from a rib injury.
With the Titans down 18-nil early against the Canberra Raiders and the forwards getting steamrolled, Renouf said it was Arrow who provided key impetus at prop to get the side back in the game and ultimately win 30-28.
Renouf said Brennan’s earlier vote of confidence was “a mental game a coach will play”.
“He is saying to Jai, publicly, ‘I’ve got your back son. I believe in you. I know you are coming back from injury but you’re in my team’,” Renouf said
“So what does Jai think? He grows another foot taller and sticks his chest out. He will then go out and play for the coach.
“They could have gone ‘we are a beaten side here. We are 18-nil down and we’ll try and limit the scoreline’, but they didn’t.
“I was so impressed with their forwards and I thought Jai Arrow, had a blinder, an ex-Bronco.
“The forwards obviously spoke and said ‘we need to get us out of this’ and that made it easier for guys like Ash Taylor.”
In the Podcast, Renouf dissects Broncos coach Wayne Bennett’s spray this week at his players at training and what it means about the mindset of the players.
He said Bennett’s baking was deserved and dissected the Broncos woeful start to the season against St George Illawarra and whether they can turn it around.
Renouf balances the Broncos start to the 2018 with the diabolical beginning the 1999 Brisbane side made to that season.
He also weighs up whether Todd Carney should be allowed back into the NRL and compares his situation with that of Broncos prop Matt Lodge
“I’ll be disappointed in the NRL if Todd Carney has a game in the NRL this year,” Renouf said, while also explaining why.