"We're controlling the ball" ... Luke Douglas. Photo: Anthony Johnson
G old Coast prop Luke Douglas reckons Scott Prince has fulfilled an enduring thought offered by Aristotle about 350BC, when the Greek philosopher suggested ''pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work''.
Prince's fine form has helped the Titans claw their way into top eight contention and, as they prepared for today's showdown with hotshots Souths, Douglas credited his halfback's attitude as crucial in the team's late surge.
''He's starting to enjoy it,'' Douglas said of Prince. ''You know he's 'on' when he starts doing the little flick passes and stuff. Sometimes you don't need it but, when you're going forward for him, and he has a little bit of time, he comes into his own. He's enjoying himself.
''I'd guess that, in the past, he had to do it all on his own, but with [five-eighth] Aidan Sezer there, his kicking game takes an added pressure off Scott. We also have a few forward plays which allow Scott to sit back and we don't really need him. He only has to come in when he sees something, or if he wants to to do it.''
Douglas, who left Cronulla at the end of last season, described the Rabbitohs as a team that kept opponents guessing. ''They have strike power across the park; a great forward pack and [halfback Adam] Reynolds is controlling them well. Then they have the outside speed with guys like Nathan Merritt. There's a logjam in the eight. We have one toe in, but have to also kick the door down. We have a fair bit of work to do to get ahead of the pack but we've been playing with a bit more confidence.''
While their season started poorly, the low note being news the club was in danger of collapsing under its debt, Douglas said the team's collective confidence grew with each game.
''We had a slow start,'' he said. ''We had a lot of new players and it took time to build that confidence and get to know each other's play. We had a little patch in the middle of the season with a few good games, but lost it with a few injuries. I reckon time, and the fact that we're finding [form] at the right time of the season, is great. We're controlling the ball and not coughing it up like we were.''
Souths prop Eddy Pettybourne, who will match muscle with Douglas, said he'd learned a lot this season from the likes of Michael Crocker and Roy Asotasi about leading from the front. ''I try to do be the best I can,'' Pettybourne said. ''I don't act as a leader but I follow their footsteps. I try to do the little things right because I think that's why the likes of Michael Crocker and Roy Asotasi are still here.''