Titans set sights on playmaker Jacks
GOLD Coast have made moves to sign Ryley Jacks from premiers Melbourne with the Titans tabling a deal for the Storm playmaker.
In the lead-up to Saturday's Titans-Parramatta clash at ANZ Stadium, coach Garth Brennan has ramped-up his recruitment plans by holding talks with Jacks, who is in limbo at the Storm.
Despite winning 10 of 12 games this season for an outstanding 83 percent success rate as a starting playmaker, Jacks remains off-contract and faces the prospect of a pay cut to stay in Melbourne.
That has opened the door for the Titans, who have offered Jacks a one-year deal in a move that could see the left-footed kicker form a handy scrumbase alliance with halfback Ash Taylor.
Jacks will decide his future over the weekend. It is understood the Titans' 12-month deal is not as lucrative as initially hoped due to salary-cap pressures, but Jacks at least has the chance to continue his NRL career next season.
Unwanted Titans halfback Kane Elgey is exploring his future with other NRL clubs and the signing of Jacks would give the Gold Coast scrumbase options as Brennan considers moving AJ Brimson to fullback.
The 26-year-old Jacks has been in the Titans' system before, signing with feeder-club Burleigh in 2014 before moving to the Sunshine Coast, where he was picked up by the Storm after smashing the Falcons' tryscoring record.
Titans foundation football manager Scott Sattler has monitored Jacks' career closely as an expert commentator in the Intrust Super Cup and believes the halfback or pivot would be a good fit for the Coast.
"Ryley would be a really shrewd signing for the Titans," Sattler said.
"Players at the Melbourne Storm develop a good work ethic and Ryley would bring that to the Titans.
"I've always seen some subtle touches in Ryley's game and he's been able to finetune them at the Storm and have the confidence to use his skill set in the pressure of an NRL game.
"There is a difference between having the skills and having the confidence to use them in the NRL.
"Ryley is now at a place in his career where he is backing himself."
Jacks has five tries this season - behind only wingers Josh Addo-Carr (15) and Suliasi Vunivalu (11) on the Storm's tryscoring list - and Sattler says his attitude can extract the best of Titans halfback Taylor.
"We haven't seen Ash Taylor reach his full potential yet and Ryley can help him do that," Sattler said.
"Ryley would be a good foil and role model for Ash. He would be able to teach Taylor the work ethic required to succeed and all the one per cent pockets of improvement that players are taught at Melbourne."
The 12th-placed Titans are three wins ahead of last-placed Parramatta and Brennan warned his troops not to be complacent after last week's 36-12 belting of the Warriors.
"It's important we back it up," he said. "We were happy with that result but we have to keep getting better and being consistent."