No guarantees of a return have been given to dumped big-name recruit David Shillington in the wake of the Titans’ 38-0 NRL loss to Melbourne on the Gold Coast.
Titans coach Neil Henry’s bold decision to cut the former Test prop before kickoff on Sunday and opt for a more mobile pack backfired as the Storm forwards dominated to relegate the Gold Coast to their fifth straight loss.
But asked if Shillington would be recalled for their next clash against Sydney Roosters at home on May 16, Henry said: “It’s too early to tell.
“We will have a look at individual performances around Queensland Cup.”
Shillington – a veteran of 14 Tests and eight State of Origins for Queensland – arrived in the off-season amid much fanfare.
It provided a timely shot in the arm for a Titans side that had endured Daly Cherry-Evans’ backflip and strike centre James Roberts’ departure over a contract forgery bungle.
Now Shillington is contemplating an enforced sideline stint despite the Titans pack being outmuscled by the likes of Melbourne’s Jesse Bromwich and fellow giant forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona.
“He has copped it on the chin,” Henry said of Shillington, who was replaced by Lachlan Burr.
“We just made a change up for a bit more leg speed with Burry – but it didn’t really matter too much today.”
The jury is out on whether the giant Shillington would have made a difference against a Storm juggernaut that made eight line breaks to one.
An error riddled Titans also missed 45 tackles to Melbourne’s 18.
It was the first time the Titans had been held scoreless at home in their history.
Adding further insult, Melbourne went on a scoring rampage despite a dramatically reshuffled backline.
They lost Young Tonumaipea (knee), Marika Koroibete (ankle) and Richard Kennar (foot) before kickoff.
Yet they jumped to a 20-0 halftime lead and even scored in the second half when reduced to 12 men after Kenny Bromwich was sinbinned in the 55th minute for throwing a punch in a melee.
“Their team was disrupted particularly in their outside back – we thought we could worry them,” Henry said.
“But we were never in that game.
“It was a good old fashioned flogging.”