Victorious Titans eyeing NRL finals
Gold Coast coach John Cartwright says the Titans’ 38-26 flogging over Canberra proves it’s never wise to write off teams until the close of the NRL season.
With seven games to go, the Titans are only two points out of the eight after their eight-try demolition job on the Raiders at Canberra Stadium on Sunday.
The Titans scored five unanswered tries in the first half to have the game all but wrapped up at the break with a 22-4 margin, on the way to a final 12-point win.
“We’re at the stage now where we have to win,” Cartwright said.
“There’s no hiding from that.
“But with the side that we have – whether we’re mathematically possible to make the eight – I wouldn’t write us off.
“If we can win the majority of our games, we can find ourselves there.”
It’s the seventh win of the Titans’ up-and-down season, but more impressively their fifth away from Skilled Park.
Captain Scott Prince was at a loss to explain their enviable away record.
“I take my pillow away. Maybe that works,” he joked.
“A couple of years ago we made Skilled Park a bit of a fortress – I think we only lost one – and our away record was pretty dismal, so I don’t know.”
He admitted confidence was high for the visitors heading into the match.
“Our main focus was just to get into a grind with the Raiders, really work their big men in the middle and then it would open up on the edges,” Prince said.
“I guess it’s fortunate for us it panned out.”
The Raiders, whose own finals fortunes hang by a thread, were up to their old tricks with a lacklustre defence.
Captain David Shillington said he could see a pattern emerging after scoring an early try only to let the game slip away from them.
“We actually did that against the Cowboys as well, we scored a good one early on and made an error and dropped our bundle, so there’s some sort of pattern there.”
Coach David Furner agreed, arguing Blake Ferguson’s opening try got the Raiders feeling “too comfortable”.
But he said the Raiders are still full of belief they can still make the eight, with Cronulla looming as their next challenge at Toyota Stadium in a week’s time.© AAP 2013
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