Bird determined to turn back the clock on Lockyer
GOLD Coast coach John Cartwright is hoping renowned enforcer Greg Bird can repeat his 2007 State of Origin heroics against Darren Lockyer in tonight’s NRL derby.
There are few more intimidating sights in the NRL than Bird at his aggressive best. His timely shift from damaging back-rower to tormenting five-eighth with the Titans staring at a 0-3 start to 2011, indicates they plan to make it a physical night for Brisbane.
Bird has experienced defeat in his only two meetings when up against Lockyer at five-eighth, both with the Titans last season.
But he took man-of-the-match honours when the pair shaped up in the third game of the 2007 Origin series at Lang Park when he wore the No. 6 for NSW.
Cartwright’s decision to reunite Bird and halfback Scott Prince follows last week’s embarrassing 40-12 loss to Melbourne.
Bird has partnered Prince in the halves 11 times for six wins.
‘‘ Changes needed to be made after the first two rounds, we couldn’t let it keep slipping, we had to address it,’’ Cartwright said.
‘‘ We haven’t been in this position ( last on the ladder) in our four years so it’s new to us. You can cop losing games but sometimes it’s the way you lose them – which is what hurt so much last weekend.’’
Prince felt having Bird back beside him was a positive move.
‘‘ The thing for me this week is to get my own backyard in order, I was very disappointed in the way I played ( against Melbourne),’’ Prince said.
‘‘ The changes we’ve made – I feel for the guys who have missed out – but we’re inching close to a game we have to win to get the monkey off our back.’’
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin played down concerns Bird would go gunning for Lockyer.