Hair Bears out to scalp the Knights

Three of the NRL’s biggest scalps have been claimed by wooden spoon favourites Gold Coast without playing a game.

The Titans pack faces their biggest challenge in years after being asked to lay a platform and ease pressure on untried halves Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor in Sunday’s season opener against Newcastle.

But the strain isn’t showing thanks to the hair raising antics of Eddy Pettybourne, Agnatius Paasi and Leivaha Pulu.

The trio have kept the laughs coming and the locks flowing at the Titans after earning cult status as the new `Hair Bears’.

A friendly wager at training to see who could grow the biggest mane led to a regular segment by the trio on the Titans website discussing hair care, cooking and well, more hair care.

“In the pre-season we thought it would be good to grow the hair,” Pettybourne told AAP.

“Then the boys started to laugh at us at training.

“Now this is a trend so we have to keep it.

“It’s a bit of fun off the field.”

They also appear poised to have plenty of fun on it this weekend.

Auckland Nines revelation Paasi is pumped after securing a starting front row berth while fellow enforcers Pettybourne and Pulu look set to be unleashed from the bench against the Knights.

The Titans have a new-look pack boasting former Queensland forwards David Shillington and Chris McQueen.

Pettybourne did not believe the pack had to find another gear in a bid to protect new halves combination Roberts and Taylor.

Roberts lines up against his former side while fellow Titans debutant Taylor was handed the No.7 jersey after Kane Elgey (knee) succumbed to injury.

“I don’t think there is any pressure to be honest,” Pettybourne said.

“We feel pretty comfortable as a pack. The pressure is on the other team I believe.

“Shillington is a leader on the field, and McQueen’s experience has helped the young fellas.

“Everyone is feeding off them and getting better each day.”

Pettybourne and Paasi were rare success stories in an otherwise disastrous 2015 for Gold Coast.

Pettybourne threw in a lucrative Super League UK contract with Wigan to return to Australia when he learned his Sydney-based father was ill.

As a result, he was the last Titan signed in early 2015.

By July he had inked a two-year extension.

Paasi was the second-last Titan signed in 2015 on a budget train and trial deal – he re-signed for two years the same day as Pettybourne.

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