Road record woes not a worry for Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Road record woes not a worry for Titans

By Steve Jancetic 31/05/2008 03:25:34 PM Comments (0)

They've won just three NRL games away from the holiday strip in just under 15 months but Gold Coast backrower Mark Minichiello claims his side's horrendous road record is not an issue.

Minichiello said his side's struggles away from the Gold Coast had been exaggerated, even though facts show they have claimed victory just three times from 16 road games since coming into the competition last year.

While they sit comfortably in the four thanks to a generous draw which saw them play six of their first nine games in the friendly confines of Skilled Park, the Titans need to start winning away if they are to be serious finals contenders.

And there's no better place to start than at Toyota Stadium on Sunday against a Cronulla side which has lost more games than it's won at home in 2008.

"Everyone keeps talking about it but we're not too worried about our away form," Minichiello said.

"We've won one this year and two of the games we lost, one was by one point and the other by two points. We didn't even play well in those games.

"It hasn't come up in any discussions (amongst the players) this year at all."

The Titans won't have five-eighth Mat Rogers in their side on Sunday, the former Sharks favourite ruled out with rib damage sustained in last week's loss to Wests Tigers.

Ashley Harrison will slide over to pivot, a role he handled with aplomb while Rogers was out suspended for four matches earlier this season, with Josh Graham to come in at lock and Luke Swain the new man on the bench.

NSW backrower Anthony Laffranchi is considered a definite starter after overcoming an shoulder injury picked up in Origin I.

While Laffranchi and halfback Scott Prince have been receiving much of the praise for the Titans' strong start to the year, Minichiello's form has also been a constant.

He was rewarded with a City Origin jumper and said he would love to join his backrow partner in a NSW jersey one day.

"I think I'm up for it, I'd love to be given the opportunity to show what I can do there," Minichiello said.

"Me and Boof (Laffranchi) just go out there together and do the job, our stats probably measure up, he deserves to be playing there because he's a great player, I'll just keep plugging away."

The ears of Sharks players are probably still ringing from the blast coach Ricky Stuart gave them following Monday night's disappointing loss to the Bulldogs.

Another loss on Sunday could see them slip out of the top eight and they're unlikely to have the services of fullback Brett Kearney because of an ankle injury.

Mitch Brown is expected to go to fullback with Jayson Bukuya to come onto the wing.

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