Gold Coast enforcer Greg Bird says he is over the mental letdown of State of Origin and “buzzing” about the prospect of returning against Melbourne on the weekend.
Bird is one of those players, like a Paul Gallen or Petero Civoniceva, whose mere presence lifts his teammates.
His all Origin back-row combination with Queensland duo Nate Myles and Ashley Harrison will be crucial in stopping Melbourne players pouring through the middle on Saturday night.
Bird’s dodgy hamstring will be put to the test at training on Tuesday as the Titans fight to keep their season alive.
“I haven’t really had a good solid run on it but I’ll do that tomorrow,” said Bird.
“I’m pretty confident.”
Bird, who played in this year’s Origin series which was decided 21-20 in game three, admitted it had been difficult returning to club football after such an emotional series.
“Sometimes after Origin it can be tough getting back into club footy,” said Bird, who missed Sunday’s loss to South Sydney after opting to give his hamstring an extra week.
“But after the couple of injuries I’ve had and the rest I’ve had I’m buzzing to get back out there.”
A spectator on Sunday at Skilled Park, Bird felt the Titans had suffered from a few tough first-half calls.
“We were right in the game and it was only a few errors and a few dubious calls against and the guys dropped their heads a bit,” said the NSW lock.
“We were there to win the game and given another opportunity I think we could knock them off.”
Bird, who would have risked playing against Souths had it been a finals game, was confident the Titans could upset the Storm who snapped a five-game losing streak in comprehensive fashion last weekend.
The loss certainly hasn’t dented coach John Cartwright’s confidence about making the top eight either.
“I thought we played in patches as good as we’ve played, we just didn’t finish our sets,” Cartwright said.