Gold Coast plan for Taumalolo NRL return
North Queensland coach Paul Green will see how Jason Taumalolo pulls up on Friday morning before locking in his return from knee surgery.
But Gold Coast counterpart Garth Brennan is already planning for the prime mover to be there though as both sides chase a win to lift them away from the crowded lower half of the NRL ladder.
Along with Taumalolo's fitness, Green is contemplating a John Asiata cameo in the halves, while Brennan wants to see discipline improvements from the competition's most penalised team.
"I think he was close (to a return) last weekend so we're anticipating he'll play," Brennan said of the powerful Tongan prop.
"In saying that they've still got a representative pack ... we've done our homework and know where we need to be better and they're (penalties) hurting us."
The Titans' 7.9 penalties against are the most for any NRL side this year, while they are also conceding a try every 7.9 tackles inside their 20m zone - also a competition-worst.
"We've got to be better with our discipline. We want to be working with the referees," Brennan said.
"I'm not saying we're getting picked on by any stretch whatsoever, we need to be better."
Jarrod Wallace (suspension) and AJ Brimson (thumb) will return for the Titans while Green remains coy on Taumalolo's prospects.
"Jase did most of the session. He's probably a better chance than he was last week," he said.
Green also said deploying ball-playing utility Asiata in the halves had crossed his mind.
"Johnny plays like that no matter what way he's playing, but at this stage, probably not," Green said.
"It is an option but not at this stage, I think we have to get Cliffo (Jake Clifford) going."
The playmaker scored a preseason hat-trick against the Titans but, like his Titans' rival Ashley Taylor, is under scrutiny given the side's misfiring attack this season.
The teams are among seven on two wins after seven games, while the Cowboys have won the last seven games between the sides.
STATS THAT MATTER
* A team has never won the premiership with two wins from their first eight games.
* The Titans need 16.1 tackles inside their opponent's 20m zone to score this season, but are conceding one every 7.9 tackles at their end.
* The Cowboys have not scored over 17 points since the opening round.
© AAP 2019