McQueen starts with Titans

first_imgHaving only arrived on the Gold Coast on Sunday evening McQueen admitted to being slightly disorientated when he awoke on Monday morning and had “more butterflies than normal” as he joined his new teammates for a grueling session in the early Queensland heat.A whirlwind departure from Redfern that has in fact been months in the making saw him say goodbye to the red and green surrounds that he has called home for the past seven years and head north to help rebuild a club that has been put through the wringer.Although only John Sutton has been at South Sydney longer than any other player in the current Rabbitohs’ squad, the fleet-footed back-rower was largely kept out of the limelight due to the presence of superstars such as Greg Inglis, Sam Burgess and Issac Luke.But as a five-time Origin representative for Queensland McQueen arrives at the Titans as their marquee signing of the summer and said that his influence on the team will dictate the legacy that is left behind.”Souths are the oldest team in the comp and the Gold Coast are the newest,” said McQueen, who signed a two-year deal with the Titans on Friday.”To start building that legacy and to build a name for myself at the Gold Coast and playing in a successful team is absolutely the goal so I’m excited to do that.”Having a look around the team there are a lot of young guys so I certainly think that the Gold Coast Titans are building for something good and I wanted to be a part of that.”I’ve been around for a while now and a bit of an older head so I’m comfortable with that and happy to put my hand up and be a leader with the younger boys that are here.”One of few familiar faces when McQueen turned up to training on Monday, Eddy Pettybourne was a teammate for four seasons at the Rabbitohs from 2009-2012 and said he was excited to have a player of McQueen’s experience joining the Titans.”He’s obviously got a lot of big-game experience, he’s played Origin and been to a grand final and the way he plays, he’s pretty quick for a big fella,” Pettybourne said.”He prepares well before training and before games and Michael Maguire speaks really highly of him so he’s a great asset to us.”When he came into the [Rabbitohs] squad he was a big winger and obviously he’s transitioned to the back row now but he’s still the same, he just doesn’t have the long hair.”Since making his NRL debut in 2009 and becoming the 1070th player to represent South Sydney, McQueen has seen the Rabbitohs squad undergo a dramatic transformation and said he is ready to become a leader at his new club.”The best way to show leadership is by example,” said the 28-year-old.”Doing the right thing on and off the field and when we’re doing those tough training sessions putting in that effort and putting in the effort in the gym. Not cutting corners and leading by example.”The young guys that come into the squad look up to the older guys and see what they do and they mimic that so if the old guys are doing the wrong thing and cutting corners then the young guys are going to do the same.”When you’re building a culture everyone has to buy in. There are players coming from all different places that have been in different systems but everyone that comes into a new club has to buy into the one culture.”That’s the key to having a successful team.”last_img read more

Trojans trounced in Pac-10 tourney final

first_imgLOS ANGELES – A Pacific-10 Conference Tournament championship banner would have made a nice addition to Galen Center. The rafters at the new arena are rather barren, accentuated only by the two retired jerseys USC added in the past two months. They wanted them a little too much. USC came out flat and played its worst game of the season Saturday, losing 81-57 to No.16 Oregon in the Pac-10 Tournament final at Staples Center. “We were too hyped,” USC guard Nick Young said. “We were too serious before the game. It’s not something we usually do. We are always joking around. But everybody took this game a little too seriously. That kind of got to us. It got in our heads.” The Trojans (23-11) are expected to make the NCAA Tournament, and will watch the selection show on TV today at Galen Center. But they won’t go in with the momentum or seeding a victory and tournament title would have brought. “If they watched today, we might be a 16,” coach Tim Floyd said of the selection committee’s task of seeding the Trojans. The Trojans have fought all season to prove they are a program on the rise, and they wanted something to show for all that hard work. They wanted a banner. They wanted rings. center_img USC, which beat Oregon in two regular-season meetings, got the jump on the Ducks again with a 7-2 start. But the game got ugly from there, with Oregon (26-7) going on a 19-2 run led by seven points from Aaron Brooks. Young, USC’s leading scorer at 17.6 points per game entering the contest, didn’t make a basket until hitting a 3-pointer with 4:13 left in the first half and the Trojans already down by 15. Dating back to Friday’s game against Washington State, he went 40:56 without scoring a point. “He’s tough to guard,” Oregon’s Bryce Taylor said of Young. “But I just try to be physical, get in his head a little. I kind of know when he’s going to get his shot. He starts running much harder.” If USC had any hopes of coming back after trailing by 13 points at halftime, they were squelched early by Taylor. He scored the first eight points of the second half as the Ducks opened up a 21-point lead. Oregon’s lead swelled to 37 after a 31-9 Ducks run concluded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Taylor. Taylor finished with 32 points, making all 11 of his shots – including seven 3-pointers. On defense, he held Young to 10 points. “That’s part of his game,” said Young, who knows Taylor from his high school days playing at Reseda Cleveland and Studio City Harvard-Westlake, respectively. “He’s a streaky shooter. When’s he’s in a zone, he’s on. Tonight was just one of those nights for him.” Gabe Pruitt, who was on fire Friday with a season-high 26 points, cooled off against Oregon. After hitting a 3-pointer to open the game, he made just one of his next 11 shots and finished with six points. “We just didn’t come to play,” Pruitt said. “We came to play the first two times (against Oregon). Tonight, we didn’t. It’s tough. It came at the wrong time, in a championship game. But we can’t sulk on this loss. We’ve still got some games left, hopefully more than one.” The Trojans accomplished what they set out to this week, strengthening their position for the NCAA Tournament by winning two games. But getting so close to a title – and their first Pac-10 banner – only to get blown out erased the positives. “It would have been better if we lost to Washington State (in the semifinals) and saved ourselves this embarrassment,” Young said. “It was just one of those days.” USC’s previous 10 losses came by an average of seven points, with none by more than 15. The good news heading into the NCAA Tournament is that the Trojans have lost consecutive games only once this season, and the second loss came in double-overtime at Washington State. “We’re going to treat it as an aberration,” Floyd said of Saturday’s game. “I got a lot of belief in these young men.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more