Titans hopeful Rogers won't cop NRL ban - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans hopeful Rogers won't cop NRL ban

By Wayne Heming 21/07/2008 09:53:30 AM Comments (0)

The injury-wracked Gold Coast Titans are hopeful classy five-eighth Mat Rogers will escape sanction from the NRL match review committee.

Rogers, who served a one-month suspension for a tackle on Parramatta fullback Luke Burt earlier in the season, declined to comment on his 27th minute tackle on young Penrith winger Lachlan Coote which referee Matt Cecchin put on report during the Titans' 36-22 loss at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

With halfback Scott Prince (broken arm), prop Luke Bailey (ankle), second-rower Mark Minichiello (ankle), centre Chris Walker (Achilles) and winger Brenton Bowen (cheekbone) all sidelined, the Gold Coast can ill-afford to lose such a key player as Rogers as they struggle to stay inside the top eight with probably the toughest run home of all.

"It was just a reflex tackle," said Titans coach John Cartwright, almost dismissive of the incident.

Coote, who was stunned as Rogers flung out his arm, felt the dual international's attempt to stop him was just a "lazy tackle".

"It didn't hurt, there was really nothing in it," said Coote.

After trailing 18-10 at half time the Titans were unable to muster a second half fightback to match last week's resurgence against the Roosters.

Penrith, with forward Frank Pritchard in devastating form and Trent Waterhouse operating in tandem on the edges, proved much too robust and mobile for the gallant Titans.

The Titans play five of their last seven games away from the security of Skilled Park, including games against Melbourne, Brisbane and Manly.

"Defensively we were just way off the pace, very disappointing," said Cartwright.

"Sometimes it's hard to put a finger on but we were very soft in defence.

"They're a big strong side and they were hard to get hold of and we weren't up to it on the night."

The good news for the Gold Coast is the possibility that Prince could return a little earlier than the finals which could prove crucial should the last play-offs position be up for grabs.

Meanwhile, Pritchard's World Cup campaign for New Zealand could depend on the results of shoulder scans this week.

The hard-running Panthers star was expected to form the game's most damaging back-row alongside Sonny Bill Williams for the Kiwis.

But Pritchard, who has been experiencing severe pain in his right shoulder, finished the game with a sore left shoulder and admitted he needed more scans.

The outlook wasn't promising with Panthers doctor Norm Southern casting a dark cloud of Pritchard's World Cup prospects suggesting he may not last that long without surgery.

"There is always a danger the tear could extend. Every game he plays, the more that can happen," said Dr Southern.

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