x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Bird looking to fly again

The Gold Coast Titans stand-off has vowed to raise his game in today's NRL match with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Greg Bird, the Gold Coast Titans stand-off, has vowed to raise his game in today's NRL match with the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Bird committed several handling errors, missed three tackles and even gifted the New Zealand Warriors a try with an errant pass in spite of the Titans' win last weekend. "I'm disappointed in myself but there's no better way to get over it than to get out there and have a good game and blow it out of the water," said Bird, who spent last season with the Catalans Dragons after a series of off-the-filed incidents saw him released by the Cronulla Sharks.

"It was a win and come Round 25 no one will notice how you played in that game. You got the two points at the end and you build on that this week." The Rabbitohs did not fare quite as well last week as they lost to city rivals the Sydney Roosters. "A lot of people have been talking about them [the Rabbitohs] and they'll be disappointed with their first round," said Bird. "[People talk about forward Sam] Burgess in particular and it's going to be a big test for our blokes in the middle.

"We played them in the trial and they were strong, so we'll be expecting a strong game pretty much all over." The St George Illawarra Dragons take on the Canterbury Bulldogs in today's other game. Meanwhile, an agreement has been struck between the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) and the Rugby League Players' Association to begin blood testing for both HGH (Human Growth Hormone) and EPO (Erythropoietin) in the NRL.

There are also four games in Super League, with Gareth Thomas set to debut for the Celtic Crusaders in their game against Catalans. Second-place Warrington visit St Helens in fourth spot with the top six teams separated by two points. @Email:akunawicz@thenational.ae