By STEVE MASCORD
JAMAL Idris bore the inscription “revenge” on wrist strapping, aimed a critics who labelled him fat and lazy last year. Yesterday the giant Gold Coast centre had a country picnic at the expense of Parramatta.
Before 9132 fans at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Sporting Complex – not many shy of the central western New South Wales’ town’s entire population – Idris scored two tries and set up another as the Titans easily dispatched a Parramatta side that their coach described as “not up to first grade standard”.
“If you were Queensland, I don’t think you’d want him there, the way he’s playing,” coach John Cartwright said of the 200cm, 117 kg threequarter after the Titans biggest-ever win.
“He’s in a really good space at the moment. He’s playing great footy. Today was probably one of his better performances but he’s been consistent all year.
“He got a lot of clean ball, early ball and he caused some damage.”
The Australian asked Titans officials to check on the meaning of the “revenge” line and was told it was aimed that those unaware of his injury battles last season who criticised him over his weight and form. “Footy’s all he wants to talk about at the moment,” Cartwright said.
Whatever their motivation, it was a thorough belting that the Titans meted out after the scores were 12-4 at halftime.
“It was unacceptable … we’re not up to it,” said Stuart, whose side has lost five of their last six.
“That’s not first grade standard. We made fundamental errors in attack and defence. That’s schoolboy errors out there today.
“They either get up to the standard or they don’t play first grade.
“I thought Jarryd (Hayne) had a go today, along with three or four others but there were a lot of other players I was disappointed in.”
The Titans scored early through winger Anthony Don, who Hayne tried to bluff into a premature pass when faced with two attackers but Parramatta managed to hit back via Ken Sio in the ninth minute.
There was a re-emerge of the ‘prowler’ tackle during the game, with Titans captain Nate Myles complaining to the referees about the practise and Parramatta’s Tim Mannah responding that Gold Coast was doing it to.
Titan Ryan James came off with a knee injury suffered in one such challenge – which drew a penalty – in the second half but later returned.
Having lost a game on a try incorrectly allowed to Warrior Shaun Johnson – who tapped the ball forward intentionally – on May 6, the Titans were again the victims when the call went the other way against their own no.7 Albert Kelly at the half hour mark.
Filipino winger Kevin Gordon, sporting a new kabuki-style haircut, got the first of his two tries just before halftime but at that point, Stuart thought his men were still in it.
His view altered after the break.
Idris barged over from close range in the 48th minute, fellow centre Brad Taikarangi got his share of the spoils seven minutes later, Kelly belatedly joined the scoresheet after another seven elapsed and Idris’ defence layed the foundation for Gordon’s second.
Stuart said he gaveHayne a spell in the last few minutes but a trainer was seen checking the fullback’s stomach before he came off. He shared a car with rival Greg Bird back to Sydney last night.
Asked if he felt his side had previously turned the corner, Stuart said: “We are a long way from the corner.
“We have systems in place. The systems are difficult to perform and action. But we can’t take any shortcuts. The systems are correct in the game of rugby league and it’s up to us to be able to get to the standard where we’re able to perform them.”
Asked if there was anything positive out of the game, he said: “Yeah, it finished.”
GOLD COAST 42 (K Gordon 2 J Idris 2 A Don K Gordon A Kelly A Sezer 7 goals) bt PARRAMATTA 4 (K Sio try) at Glen Willow Sporting Complex, Mudgee. Referees: G Reynolds/M Cecchin. Crowd: 9132.
Filed for: THE AUSTRALIAN