SUPERSTAR SIGNING: Jarryd Hayne of the Gold Coast Titans.
SUPERSTAR SIGNING: Jarryd Hayne of the Gold Coast Titans. DAN PELED

Titans counting on Hayne to deliver

THE Gold Coast Titans will be hoping to get their first big dividend from their highly expensive late-season investment on champion athlete Jarryd Hayne in Townsville on Saturday night.

Hayne is battling a calf injury but, along with young halfback Ash Taylor (foot), will head north for the club's crucial clash with the Cowboys that could define its 2016 season.

Win and the Titans are in the NRL finals for the first time since 2010.

Lose and they will have to rely on Canberra, which may rest a few key players, to beat Wests Tigers to hang on to eight spot.

The Titans splashed out big time to secure the 2014 Dally M co-player of the year (with Johnathan Thurston), after Parramatta failed to re-sign him after his NFL adventure.

Titans coach Neil Henry moved Hayne into his favourite fullback position last weekend in the 15-14 loss to Penrith and he showed glimpses of the magic he is capable of.

"They tested him and I though he had some really nice touches,” Henry said.

The Titans desperately need Hayne to produce something extra special on what is the toughest road trip in the NRL, with the Cowboys boasting a 10-1 home record.

"It's not over, our destiny is in our own hands,” Henry said.

"We have to get up there and have a decent crack at the Cowboys and win a game of footy.

"We've got everything to play for.

"We are not going up there to make up the numbers, we're going up to win a game of footy and that's what we have to do.”

Henry said the Titans played too lateral at times trying to link with Hayne in the loss to Penrith.

He said they should have played the Panthers through the middle, which they did successfully in the second half.

"Jarryd came up with a couple of big tackles on line breaks,” Henry said.

"He'll be better for that run but we haven't got much time so he needs to be better for that run this week.”

There's no lack of confidence within the Titans camp with hooker Nathan Friend tipping an upset given the high stakes on offer.

Friend, who will be playing his last game if the Titans lose, said the players weren't intimidated by the enormous challenge.

"There's a lot of confidence in this group,” he said.

"We know what is riding on the game.

"There's probably no tougher trip than to Townsville.

"I know I've got the troops who are more than capable to pull off an upset for sure.”

Josh Hoffman said the biggest challenge would be to hold the Cowboys in the middle and stop the power games of Matt Scott, James Tamou and James Taumalolo.

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