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Bennett sings the praises of Titans reject

NZN 13/04/2017 Laine Clark

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett admits he is surprised Gold Coast let David Mead go ahead of the ex-Titans flyer's first clash with his former NRL club on Friday night.

But he is sure glad they did.

Four ex-Broncos will line up against their old club, setting the stage for a grudge match in their round seven derby at Suncorp Stadium.

However, Bennett believed Mead would be the one to came back and haunt his former club on Friday night.

Mead was outstanding on Broncos debut last round, replacing injured winger Corey Oates (groin injury) to run 174m, make two line breaks and score a try in their 32-8 win over Sydney Roosters.

His form forced Bennett to find a spot for Mead in his 17 even though Oates returned from injury this week.

"I probably was (surprised Titans cut Mead) - he is a quality person let alone a quality player," Bennett said.

"He won players' player last week.

"He was outstanding for us.

"Better for him to be in the team than out of it."

Not that Bennett was exactly sure how to use Mead off the bench.

"I don't know. I was just thinking about that," he said.

"But he is a pretty capable bloke. He can play fullback, centre, wing.

"(Fullback) Darius can play in the halves if we have to push that button - there's plenty of options."

Mead will no doubt get plenty of attention from the Titans but plenty of eyes will also be on replacement Broncos halfback Kodi Nikorima.

The bench utility slots in for Ben Hunt who is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks with a hamstring complaint suffered last round.

Nikorima hopes it will be a preview of what is to come in 2018.

Hunt will leave next year to take up a lucrative St George Illawarra deal.

Nikorima reportedly will be given the time Hunt is sidelined to prove his worth as the next Broncos halfback otherwise Bennett will go to the player market.

"He has played a lot of NRL so we think he is competent and can get the job done for us," Bennett said.

"I think we know what he brings but he is playing a different position - that is his challenge.

"He's been really good at training, that's not the same as playing, but we have confidence in him which is the most important thing."

Brisbane are on a five-game winning streak against the Titans but Bennett said his side was not consistent enough to be over confident against a battling Gold Coast.

"If we were on a five, six-game winning streak (overall) that might be a problem but it won't be tomorrow night," he said.

"The Titans are playing the Broncos. We know they will play 30 per cent better tomorrow night."

Meanwhile, prop Korbin Sims (foot) has been cleared to play for Brisbane.

BRONCOS V TITANS

* Brisbane have won 13 of their past 15 games against Gold Coast

* Brisbane have never lost at home against the Titans, winning 10 straight

* Gold Coast haven't defeated the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium since the first time they met in Round 5, 2007 - a Titans home game

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