Why “The Axe” is back at Titans
GOLD Coast have called on "The Axe" to solve their defensive woes and he's already sure that often criticised X-factor Bryce Cartwright can become a tackling machine.
Having instilled fear in opponents throughout his illustrious career, Trevor Gillmeister worked as a defensive mentor at the Titans for eight years and on Wednesday returned at coach Garth Brennan's request.
The Titans have conceded more points than any other NRL team in 2018 and Gillmeister has been tasked with helping halves Kane Elgey and Ash Taylor, as well as Cartwright.
"He asked me to come down a few times, if I can fit it in," he said after the side's training session at Parkwood.
"Next week I am probably a bit tight but we'll see what happens."
Cartwright's attacking flair has been well publicised, as has his defensive flaws. Gillmeister though is sure the former Panther can transform into a defensive rock.
"I do," he replied.
"It's amazing when you talk to some blokes that haven't been taught as a kid … Bryce, being a big kid, he has just been able to grab them and pull them down and manhandle them. But when you get into the big boys, it doesn't work.
"You have got to have a good technique. I like seeing blokes get their defence right because I get a kick out of it, especially when you see little blokes knock big blokes on their arse."
Veteran second-rower Will Matthews learnt plenty from Gillmeister during his previous stint at the Titans.
"He was good to have around and I think the young guys here will learn a lot from him too," Matthews said.
"(Defence) is what he built his game on. I think he was the best defender of his generation technique-wise, he was always tackling blokes low."
It's that very technique that could help the 30-year-old cut down his opposite number in Townsville, given Coen Hess tips the scales 16kg heavier.
There were constant shouts of "Hess" at Titans training as they prepare to ambush the Maroons young gun who has scored three tries in three games against Gold Coast.