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Hoffman playing through pain for Broncos
By Wayne Heming
16:46 AEST Tue Jul 17 2012

Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman will carry a sternum injury into Friday night's NRL derby clash with Gold Coast, aware he may have to manage the painful chest ailment into the finals.

"I sort of kept that a bit quiet," said the gritty Hoffman, who took a severe hammering from South Sydney star Greg Inglis recently before copping another battering from an aggressive Warriors last weekend.

"I've been getting banged up in a few games, a few head knocks and injuries."

"It was a bit sore after doing a bit of contact so hopefully it pulls up ok for Friday because they can be painful to play with," said Hoffman, who has been training with a chest guard to minimise the bruising to his injury.

"It can get hard to breathe sometimes but it's having that mentality to play through it."

Hoffman produced a clutch play against the Warriors last weekend by cutting down tryline-bound giant Manu Vatuvei with a less than a minute remaining.

He wasn't thinking too much about confronting a rampaging Jamal Idris if he breaks Brisbane's defensive line on Friday night.

"It was scary when Manu broke the line and I had him coming at me," smiled the young fullback.

"It'll be a tough challenge if Idris gets through but hopefully the boys do a good job of controlling him."

The potential damage the 117kg Idris could cause Brisbane's cursed left side defence - which has lost English international Jack Reed and Dale Copley to broken legs in the past few weeks - was a big talking point on Tuesday.

But Idris, who has more tackle busts (46) than any Titan other than fullback William Zillman (55), may have his hands full defending stand-in centre Alex Glenn, Brisbane's leading try scorer with nine so far this season.

Glenn is a much better defender than Idris who because of his sheer size can at times get found out when forced to change direction quickly.

"Alex has got some really good footwork and hopefully he can catch Idris on his heavy foot and get a few tries," said Hoffman.

"Idris though is pretty dangerous. He's very physical, he's a big boy. He's going to be hard to contain so we're going to get as many players in the tackle as possible."

Hoffman is pleased young winger Lachlan Maranta will play his third NRL game to replace Copley.

Maranta has been foolproof in his two games against North Queensland and Cronulla, getting through 160 minutes without a single error while making almost 100 metres a game.

"He's improved every game he's played. I'm glad Hook (coach Anthony Griffin) picked him for the job because I really enjoy having him there," Hoffman said.

The Titans have named representative lock Ashley Harrison and flying winger David Mead who missed last weekend's win over Canberra to attend his father's funeral in Papua New Guinea.


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