Coach Cartwright needs a miracle

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    The Gold Coast Titans take on the Eels in Darwin. (Digital pic by Robb Cox © Action Photographics.)

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    Some will tell you the Gold Coast Titans are going to be okay. That they are in a strong position for a red hot go at the 2013 finals. Others think differently.

    It hasn’t been the smoothest of rides heading into a new year for the Gold Coast club. They have released their only legitimate first grade halfback in Scott Prince and granted Beau Champion his wish to return to South Sydney.

    Champion’s departure can be managed. But with Prince now at the Brisbane Broncos, the Titans are in the unenviable position of picking the best of an unproven bunch to solve their number seven issues.

    Prince might well be passed his best. But whatever the internal problems were, coach John Cartwright needed to stick with the former captain for at least the first ten rounds of the 2013 National Rugby League season.

    If Prince finds form, it will be at the Broncos and not at Robina. And what if Cartwright’s young posse of playmakers fall flat?

    Granted youngsters like Daly Cherry-Evans, Trent Hodkinson and Adam Reynolds have all come into the NRL and performed like stars. But all three hadn’t been recycled. All three hadn’t been burnt by the NRL before.

    Cartwright has previously stated the Titans can be a force without Prince and recently backed Albert Kelly to return to the NRL fold this season.

    “His work ethic has been tremendous,” Cartwright told The Gold Coast Bulletin last week.

    “He’s coming out of a part-time environment into a full-time environment and the workload can be a bit of a jolt to the body.

    “If he hasn’t been able to run he’s made up for it in the gym, altitude room or pool.”

    Jordan Rankin, Beau Henry and Kelly are all options at halfback for Cartwright.

    But all have had their problems in the top grade. Unlike young stars like Cherry-Evans and Reynolds, these three all have their fair share of mental baggage.

    Henry was touted as a huge prospect after winning the 2009 Toyota Cup player of the year at St George Illawarra.

    Then-Dragons coach Wayne Bennett talked Henry out of a deal with the North Queensland Cowboys, only to be cut by Bennett when he arrived at the Newcastle Knights. He only played six games for the Knights.

    Rankin was unbelievably thrown to the lions at 16 years of age by coach Cartwright in 2008. The youngster has rarely been seen since.

    Kelly, regarded as the best of the three, has had plenty of his own issues on and off the paddock. Who will ever forget that night against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in 2011 at Shark Park where Kelly was bombarded time and time again?

    “It’s too hard to make a call watching them at training,” Cartwright continued.

    “They’ve all showed composure and that they know the style of footy we want to play. The trials will be a big gauge for how they’re going.”

    Damaged goods always need time to repair, which is why it’s so hard to fathom Prince’s release. Surely the Gold Coast could have shown some patience and not pulled the trigger on Prince so quickly.

    One of these three might come good and Cartwright’s head will be removed from the chopping block. But you don’t just discard a legend for the sake of it.

    Especially when your backup plans are questionable to say the least.

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 8:07am
      oikee said | January 22nd 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      If they miss the top eight this year, Cartwright is gone,,,,gone i tell ya,.

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 8:25am
      jamesb said | January 22nd 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      I have the Titans favourites for wooden spoon. Many have the Dragons as the wooden spoon team, but at least the Dragons still have Soward and Fein in the halves.

      Titans have Sezer, Henry, Rankin and Kelly as options. A bit of inexperience there.

      Also the Ttians were after Jamie Lyon. Why do the Ttians always go after big name players constanlty, like Idris, Taylor etc, yet let go of Prince and Champion and the Titans haven’t had too many juniors coming through the ranks.

      Titans are a bit of a rabble ATM.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2013 @ 11:45am
        Curtis Woodward said | January 22nd 2013 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        I have them for the spoon too. Cartwright is in trouble.

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 8:26am
      turbodewd said | January 22nd 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      I’m more concerned about the GC crowd situation. They used to average awesome home crowds, but theyve dwindled badly every year since their conception. I dont know anyone on the ground there but understand that the failure to pay the bills for some service providers has spread a bad word about AND there’s competition from the GC Suns. Quite concerning if you ask me.

      On top of this on the field its a worry that you have 2 talented 60-minute giants – Idris and Taylor. Idris has regressed which tells me that Cartwright is no motivator of men. He should start with an ultimatium to Idris – play awesome or shave that stupid hairstyle off your head. Im serious. If Idris was awesome then he could dye his stupid hairstyle pink…but he’s not awesome, he’s average and now fat. He needs a rocket up him…he has ability, watching him utterly bowl over Petereo in SOO a few years back in his first run was awesome.

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2013 @ 11:48am
        Curtis Woodward said | January 22nd 2013 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Hindsight is a wonderful thing. When you look at it, the Gold Coast probably didnt deserve another chance in the top flight. Central Coast and Perth would be far more developed by now.

        • January 22nd 2013 @ 1:26pm
          Pot Stirrer said | January 22nd 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          Whilst i gree with you it Seems a bit harsh after 1 bad season.

      • January 25th 2013 @ 4:39pm
        PJ said | January 25th 2013 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

        Turbodewd, as a family member of a staffer at the Titans i can assure you they are a rabble, they are merely placing bandaids over their financial situations. The troubles arose when subbies werent payed for jobs done on the COE. Being a “small town” made up of many many tradies word spread of what was going on and the Titans label has been black listed so to speak.

        Another problem the club has is employing a number of Searles mates from his footballing days at the Tweed Seagullsinto important roles such as Sponsorship, Corporate Hospitality as well as the in the football department.

        The rumours of players / staff not being paid although they are denied by the club it has happened on numerous occasions when staff questions where their pay is as they have bills to pay the clubs response was to tell them not to schedule direct debits after pay day.

        Clubs need to realise that just because someone played in the NRL does not make them qualifyed to sell sponsorship/corporate packages etc Until clubs understand this they will continue to lose money.

        On a final note if anyone thinks M Searle has taken a back seat they are kidding themselves

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 9:46am
      Gus Paella said | January 22nd 2013 @ 9:46am | ! Report

      On field the titans are lacking quality 80 minute players in crucial positions. Taylor and Idris may make a match winning play every month or two if lucky but it is your 1,6,7,9 who can steer you week to week to success or failure.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2013 @ 11:50am
        Curtis Woodward said | January 22nd 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        They also let Nathan Friend leave for some strange reason. Matt Srama hasnt proven to me that he is the reason.

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 11:33am
      Pikelet said | January 22nd 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      “Then-Dragons coach Wayne Bennett talked Henry out of a deal with the North Queensland Cowboys, only to be cut by Bennett when he arrived at the Newcastle Knights. He only played six games for the Knights.” Wow! I bet Beau Henry has a high opinion of Wayne Bennett after that!

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:06am
        DubbleBubble said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        Yeah he would have to be a little peeved you would think. I mean Henry is a grown man and ultimately responsibility for the decision rests with him, but being talked out of playing with Thurston behind a strong pack just to get cut when Bennett arrives over the top of him at the Knights by Bennett himself would leave a sour taste in your mouth, that’s for sure.

    • January 22nd 2013 @ 11:42am
      Dave said | January 22nd 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

      • Roar Guru

        January 22nd 2013 @ 12:37pm
        Curtis Woodward said | January 22nd 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

        Views and opinions expressed herein are not those of people who believe the Titans and Panthers will play in the 2013 Grand Final.

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