Titans coach Justin Holbrook says his choice to bench David Fifita throughout his aspect’s 18-4 loss to Panthers on Friday evening was to maximise the backrower’s “quality” slightly than getting “gassed” on heavy minutes.
After testing within the centres final week, Holbrook once more raised eyebrows with one other transfer for the celebrity ahead by inserting Fifita on the interchange to start out the match, with Kevin Proctor coming in because the starter.
But the transfer didn’t ignite, with Fifita seeing simply 45 minutes of motion and making simply 64 run metres from eight carries, per NRL.com stats.
The 22-year-old did not see out the ultimate whistle after he was pressured to return off with a suspected medial knee based on the Titans coach.
“Something [to do with] his knee, I think it’s a medial,” Holbrook mentioned after the match.
“It happened late in the first half. He might’ve hurt it further in the second, I’m not sure.”
Explaining the choice to start out Fifita off the interchange, Holbrook mentioned he hoped to discover a solution to maximise each minute of the ahead’s presence on the sphere as an affect participant.
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“He’s more an impact [player], I’d rather his 60 minutes be full of quality rather than get gassed and push to 80 minutes for the sake of it,” he mentioned.
“Luxury, Penrith hasn’t done it for a few weeks, but they always used to play Viliame Kikau for 30 minutes – get him off, get him back. So he’d only ever play 60 minutes for a lot of games over the last couple of years.
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“We had a few middles, Herman Ese’ese hadn’t performed, Sam Lisone cannot play massive minutes, so I’d like the posh of beginning Dave and getting him again off and again on, however then you have to fear about your middles.
“We’re running Tino (Fa’asuamaleaui), who played huge minutes tonight and that’s what puts them under pressure. So I thought it saves an interchange If we just can get Kevin Proctor to start it.
“We sit right here actually proud of that transfer if David finishes the sport, however the truth he obtained injured and could not play a component makes it even more durable.”
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