BALL-PLAYER: Ian Donnelly gets his pass away for the Titans against the Bulldogs at Carrara Stadium last month. Gold Coast lost
BALL-PLAYER: Ian Donnelly gets his pass away for the Titans against the Bulldogs at Carrara Stadium last month. Gold Coast lost

Propping up Titans

By STEVE SPINKS

GOLD COAST prop Ian Donnelly has been with the Titans National Rugby League team for only two months but already he is being pitched into a do-or-die match.

Donnelly, formerly of Ballina, moved mid-season from competition leaders the Melbourne Storm to the Gold Coast and will play his eighth game with the first-year club as they take on the Wests Tigers at Carrara Stadium at 5.30pm today.

The Titans sit precariously in 11th spot on 18 points, just behind the eighth-placed South Sydney on 20, while the in-form Tigers are equal fourth on 22.

"We've lost five in a row but everyone around here is pretty confident that we can turn it around when it comes to the crunch this weekend," Donnelly said.

"We have a few people coming back like Anthony Laffranchi (second-row), Scotty Prince (halfback) and Matty Rogers played last week.

"We're going from strength to strength so there is a fair bit of excitement around the club."

The former Marist Brothers prop moved from Melbourne to the Gold Coast after a series of injuries at the Titans opened up an opportunity for an experienced first-grader.

Donnelly had been relegated to the Storm's Queensland Cup side but has since started in every Titans match.

"I got a call on a Wednesday afternoon and I had to make a decision within 32 hours," he said.

"I thought as a career move it was a good opportunity so I approached the Storm and they supported me. It's been a good move and I'm closer to my family."

Originally Donnelly's deal was until the end of the 2008 season, but the Titans have been so impressed with the 110kg enforcer that they signed him for an additional season.

The 68-game veteran has had stints with St George Illawarra, Manly and the Storm.

"As a club just starting out they (the Titans) are heading in the right direction," Donnelly said.

Coming from the Storm, the Titans seem to be on track to be like them. "Things will be a lot better when the ground at Robina is finished," he said.



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