The Jetstar Gold Coast Titans claimed their first scalp of the pre-season today – a resounding victory over a bunch of retired cricketing legends.
In a light-hearted promotional touch football game against the XXXX Gold Beach Cricketers at the Burleigh Bears Leagues Club, the Jetstar Titans, including former Kyogle flyer Shannon Walker, proved too slick for the likes of South African greats Shaun Pollock, Allan Donald and Jonty Rhodes.
The XXXX Gold Beach Cricketers enlisted the help of Jetstar Titans star Mat Rogers and halfback Brad Davis in an attempt to help even the score against their more youthful opponents but it was to no avail, with the Titans running out 6-2 winners.
Jetstar Titans touch footy ‘captain-coach’ Scott Prince gave his side’s performance a pass mark but was more impressed by some of the skills displayed by the cricketers.
“I’d have to say big tall Pollock was outstanding. I think if we’re struggling for back-rowers half-way through the year, we can fly him over and hopefully he can have a run for us,’’ joked Prince.
“Some of the cricketers looked like they were carrying a few cartons under their t-shirts but, geez, they were pretty fit.
“We came in with a plan and that was to win. As the captain-coach of the side I was pretty happy with the way the guys performed.
“There were a couple of lazy defenders there. I’m not going to mention names … Jordan Atkins was pretty lazy and Kevin Gordon was disgraceful but we seemed to get through OK.”
Pollock revealed that touch football was actually an important part of the South African cricket team’s warm-up during his career from 1995-2008.
“Most of the boys play rugby union back home until the end of school, so all of them have played a bit in their time,’’ he said.
“We also used to play touch footy for a warm-up when you’re a part of the cricketing side and they’re competitive guys so you always have to be on your toes.
“But it was great to meet the Titans guys and throw a football around. From now on if we ever see Titans mentioned we know we’ll be supporting them.’’
Participating in the match provided a small thrill for new Titans recruit William Zillman, who received the chance to meet one of his cricketing idols.
“I’ve grown up watching these guys on telly, I followed the cricket a bit when I was young,’’ said Zillman.
“I always liked Shaun Pollock, he was one of my favourite bowlers actually so it was pretty good to play against him.’’