Territory Stories

The Northern Territory news Wed 13 Jan 2021



The Northern Territory news Wed 13 Jan 2021

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NT news


The Northern Territory news; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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News Corp Australia

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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News Corp Australia



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58 SPORT WEDNESDAY JANUARY 13 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 tall second rower who has entered his first off-season with the Cowboys NRL squad after coming through the clubs Cairns Academy system. Despite his height, Luki is no string bean and the powerful right edge backrower from Towering forward Tino Faasuamaleaui featured in all three Origin matches in his maiden series for Queensland last year. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images MAROONS star Tino Faasuamaleaui has spoken of his desire to turn the Titans into an NRL powerhouse as a crucial clause in his Gold Coast contract was revealed. Faasuamaleaui officially started pre-season training at the Titans this week, returning from an extended Christmas break following his remarkable 2020 campaign. The towering forward played 22 games in Melbournes NRL premiership season before featuring in all three Origin matches in his maiden series for Queensland where he went toe-to-toe with NSW giant Payne Haas. At only 20, Faasuamaleaui announced he will be one of the games premier forwards for the next 10 years and while the Titans have also snared David Fifita, Big Tino could be the NRLs buy of the year. While Faasuamaleaui has only just moved to the Gold Coast, the Gympie product said he wanted to make the Titans his long-term club. One of the first things is my family live up here, Faasuamaleaui said when asked why he moved to the Titans. I really wanted to come up and bring my daughter (Alina, one) up to my parents so she can have her grandparents around. I saw the club was moving up. Theyve been at the bottom for a while so I thought itd be a good opportunity to bring it up and become a powerhouse in the future. Im still young but Im happy here and Ive got another two more years. Hopefully in the future we can buy a house and stay here for a long time. Faasuamaleaui has been living with close friend Fifita as he waits to move into a house next week. BIG TINO ON MISSION TO LIFT TITANS TRAVIS MEYN Qld young guns on rise A TOWERING 2m tall middle forward from Cairns, a fleet-afoot Gold Coast winger and a front rower from the league rich Darling Downs could be new faces glimpsed by Gold Coast Titans and North Queensland Cowboys supporters in 2021. The Cowboys have promoted three players on development contracts into the NRL summer training squad Heilum Luki, Griffin Neame and Michael Bell. Luki, 19, is an almost 200cm the famous Cairns Brothers club will be an exciting prospect for Cowboys supporters in years to come. Another 19-year-old, middle forward Neame, is a former junior Kiwi representative who came to the attention of the clubs New Zealand talent scouts. Like Luki, Neame is enjoying his first off-season in the Cowboys NRL squad. The pacy Bell, 20, comes from Josh Hannay-Travis Norton country Moranbah. An outside back, Bell did last off-season in the NRL squad and was part of the Nines squad which played in Perth. He then benefited from a season playing for the Blackhawks against the men in the Intrust Super Cup. The Gold Coast Titans also have their share of development contract players training in the clubs top NRL squad. Winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira is somewhat of a sensation at the Burleigh Bears where his raw speed has made Titans coaching staff sit up and take notice. With fan favourite Anthony Don now 33 and coming to wards the end of his NRL career, Titans staff could be looking for new blood and it would not surprise to see Khan-Pereira gain experience in 2021 ahead of a full tilt at the NRL starting team in 2022. Powell, an admirer of former Broncos great Corey Parker, is a proud Goondiwindi boy who boarded at St Marys College, Toowoomba. He has been a regular in Queensland age group representative teams and the young front rower will relish training alongside the Titans all-star forward pack compris ing David Fifita, Jarrod Wallace, Tino Faasuamaleaui, Kevin Proctor and Moeaki Fotuaika. Tristan Powell and Helensvale Hornets junior Jayden Campbell were other Titans development players lapping up training with the NRL big boys. Powell, Khan-Pereira and Brisbane Broncos outside back speedster Reece Walsh were teammates of Xavier Coates in the Maroons under 18 side in 2019. Campbell is slightly built but is a born footballer. ANDREW DAWSON Cowboys Michael Bell. BRISBANE workhorse Payne Haas believes he is more effective playing less minutes as the giant prop looks to adapt his playing style to fit the changing nature of the game. The 119kg monster averaged 71 minutes a game during the 2020 season, according to Fox Sports Lab statistics, with 162 running metres a match and 42 tackle breaks. Despite being a member of the Broncos first wooden spoon club, Haas (pictured) huge engine and physical fitness earned him a spot in the Blues Origin squad at the end of the year. I love playing 80 minutes, he said. I feel like 30 minutes on (in the first half) and 30 in the second would be best for me and my body. It would probably be the best for the team as well. I want to play 80 and just compete out there for the whole game but I know whats best for me and the team. Haas plan for hour of power CHRIS HONNERY Upbeat Holbrook confident of strong Gold Coast showing in 2021 GOLD Coast Titans were the NRLs most improved club of 2020. They were at rock bottom after collecting the wooden spoon in 2019 and sacking coach Garth Brennan. Coach Justin Holbrook tells Travis Meyn about what 2021 holds for the Titans. The Titans made some huge improvements following a disastrous 2019. When you sat down and reviewed 2020, what did you learn? The obvious one was how well we finished the season. That was really important for us. It doesnt guarantee anything for next year but it gives you a bit more confidence. Youre heading into your second season as an NRL coach. Are you feeling more comfortable after the finish to 2020? Im definitely more comfortable in the sense Ive got the same coaching staff and while theres some new players coming in, around two thirds of the squad know what we want from them. Youve got some big name recruits at the club in David Fifita (Broncos) and Tino Faasuamaleaui (Storm) along with Herman Eseese (Knights), Patrick Herbert (Warriors) and Sam McIntyre (Tigers). Are you looking forward to having some new faces in the squad? Yeah, definitely. Weve got some really key players coming which is exciting for the coaching staff and players. Weve got quality guys joining the squad. Fifita has signed a huge contract but is coming off a poor season at the Broncos and ankle surgery late in the year, how is he tracking? He was going to try and push to play State of Origin (last November) but that would have been unrealistic. Its good he hasnt had that pressure. He can take more time to get it completely right. Tino Faasuamaleaui had a sensational year, winning the NRL premiership with Melbourne and then debuting for Queensland. You must be excited to get him into the club. He has had a great season. I am excited, everyone at the club is. What he is going to bring will be great. I cant wait. TRAVIS MEYN