GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - MAY 30: Kane Elgey of the Titans looks to pass the ball during the round 12 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Cbus Super Stadium on May 30, 2015 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

As far as basic maths goes, knowing that three doesn’t go into two is a simple fact. That’s the dilemma facing Titan’s coach Neil Henry with Ash Taylor, Kane Elgey and Tyrone Roberts fighting it out for two halves positions.

Despite Tyrone Roberts and rookie Ash Taylor guiding the Gold Coast to their first finals birth in six years, the return of fellow young gun Kane Elgey from a knee reconstruction sees halves spots as competitive as ever. Elgey only narrowly missed out on Dally M Rookie of the Year honours in 2015, falling short to eventual winner Jack Bird. Elgey missed the entirety of the 2016 season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in the pre-season, forcing Gold Coast to run with make-shift halves for the season, a Brisbane rookie and a Newcastle reject.

Fellow rookie Ash Taylor beat out Nathan Cleary and Suliasi Vunivalu on his way to being named 2016’s best rookie. Scoring five tries along with his fourteen try-assists, Taylor impressed many with his composure and creativity in his first full season of first grade. While Taylor’s stats are impressive, they are eerily similar to the stats Kane Elgey managed to stack up in 2015, his debut season. Elgey scored six tries to Taylor’s five, and despite being dwarfed in the try-assist department tallying eleven assists to Ash Taylor’s fourteen, Kane Elgey played six fewer games than his younger counterpart.

With superior stats, Elgey and Taylor would appear to be the best pairing for the Titans in 2017, leaving Tyrone Roberts in the cold. But what Roberts has that the other two lack is experience. Elgey and Taylor possess a combined 38 NRL games of experience, with Roberts playing in 118 games himself – more than triple the first-grade experience of Kane Elgey and Ash Taylor combined. Tyrone Roberts has also featured in four finals games, with Taylor notching up one and Elgey yet to feature.

While it is a tough situation for Neil Henry, the departures of Nathan Friend, Kierran Moseley and Daniel Mortimer may make the coach’s choice a little simpler. In Robert’s 118 career games, he’s started from the bench in 13 of them, gaining experience in the hooking position, making him valuable in the utility role. With Nathan Peats a certainty for the starting hooker role, Roberts could prove his worth as Peat’s backup.

Despite Robert’s versatility, he won’t be giving up the five-eighth spot without a fight. Gold Coast’s pre-season has begun and should make for an interesting three months as Neil Henry figures out how to put three into two.

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