After putting his former club to the sword, Canberra half Jamal Fogarty said he had “no regrets” about leaving the last-placed Titans and has pleaded with the Gold Coast to have patience with rookie No.7 Toby Sexton.
Fogarty, who played 41 games for the Gold Coast, was superb for the Raiders in the 36-24 win over the Titans. He set up a crucial try when the game was in the balance and combined superbly with halves partner Jack Wighton to keep Canberra’s finals hopes alive.
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Sexton and the Titans spine was unable to ice key moments, causing coach Justin Holbrook to say that “Kieran (Foran) can’t get here quick enough”, in reference to the Manly star’s impending arrival in 2023.
The Titans parted ways with Fogarty at the end of last year and allowed him to sign with the Raiders after backing 21-year-old Sexton to be their main man in the seven jersey.
That decision has been a flop, but Fogarty said he had no bitterness towards the Gold Coast.
“There are no regrets,” the 28-year-old said.
“I’ll be totally honest. When I signed at the (Titans) they told me day one Toby was going to be their halfback moving forward. It was just going to be a matter of when.
“Once they said Tobes was ready to take over it was ‘sweet, where is the best option for me to keep playing?’
“I am not bitter towards the club or any of the players. I am just grateful that Sticky (Ricky Stuart) and the Canberra boys have given me the opportunity to keep playing NRL because it took me so long to get here. I had to look after myself first.
“Moving forward I hope all the Gold Coast supporters give Tobes a bit of time and give him a bit of love and credit. He’s had two years where it has been Covid.
“He has come straight out of school, hasn’t played any footy, and obviously it was going to be tough for him to play a full season of halfback. He is going to be a 10 or 12-year player for the club and play 200 games for them.”
The Raiders are in ninth position on the ladder on 22 points and just outside the eight on for and against.
Fogarty, who has won five of eight games for the Raiders after overcoming injury, is building his combination with Wighton.
“People on the outside don’t realize we’ve played just five games together,” Fogarty said.
“Two of those weeks he was in Origin camp. He came back for captain’s run after I’d trained all week with Matt Frawley… so we were learning on the run in captain’s run. Another time he had Covid and it was very similar.
“The last weeks we’ve been able to have a full week of preparation and we are finding a groove. I think we are heading in the right direction at the right time of the season whether they are good wins or ugly wins.”
The selfless Fogarty said the win over the Titans was not about him, but it still felt weird.
“It is obviously different in the away sheds, to start off with. It is the first time I have come to the stadium on a bus as well,” he said.
“I spoke to the boys every week that it is just about us. When we focus on ourselves we play our best style of footy.”