Cartwright keen to turn tables on Souths - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cartwright keen to turn tables on Souths

By Laine Clark 01/05/2009 05:13:47 PM Comments (0)

In the coaching poker face stakes, Gold Coast Titans mentor John Cartwright can sometimes make Wayne Bennett look like Jim Carrey.

But mention the last time his side took on South Sydney and a twitch can almost be seen in the dead pan coach's eye.

And for good reason - the Titans lost much more than a match in round 15, 2008.

Rabbitohs hooker Issac Luke slotted home a late penalty goal to seal a 24-23 win at ANZ Stadium - but the Gold Coast were already hurting.

They finished the game with just 12 fit players.

The loss also sparked a horror run as the Titans lost 10 of their next 11 games to plummet from first to 13th to miss the finals altogether.

Not that Cartwright has to be reminded ahead of Saturday night's Skilled Park showdown with the Rabbitohs.

Indeed he is trying to forget.

"I know we copped a lot of injuries in that game," Cartwright said.

"It was a game that we had marked a win on the calendar.

"We were going into the game pretty healthy and in good form.

"It was one of those games. I think we finished with 12 players.

"It was the beginning of a bad trot.

"I am trying not to think about that too much."

The Titans started their previous two seasons on a high, only to crash and burn and miss the finals entirely.

The Gold Coast have again set themselves up early, racking up a 5-2 record to be equal second ahead of their clash with South Sydney (4-3; 5th)

But Titans halfback Scott Prince said there were six good reasons why history won't repeat in 2009.

Cartwright has laid down "six commandments" that the Titans must follow in each game.

Put simply, if they tick every box they should walk off the field a winner.

If they don't, well, the Titans are only too aware of the consequences after two disappointing seasons.

Not that Prince was giving away anything more on the six rules.

"Our main focus is to tick those boxes. That takes the focus off who we play and where we play," he said.

"If we tick all the boxes it will go a long way to winning the match."

But Prince reckons they only ticked two in the 34-20 loss at Penrith on Monday night.

However, their spirits have been buoyed by the return of Luke Bailey (knee) and Mat Rogers (neck, shoulder) for the Rabbitohs.

"They were missed. Their return gives us continuity, and we are going to need some fresh legs too - it was a bit of a road trip (to Penrith on Monday)," Cartwright said.

Despite the recent disappointment, Prince said he was confident the Titans had made the competition sit up and take notice.

"Now if they want to take us lightly we are happy to take the two points," he said.

Respect is certainly being shown by selectors.

Mark Minichiello, Bailey and Anthony Laffranchi recently made the recent NSW squad while Prince and Ashley Harrison got nods from Queensland.

But the big prize goes on the line this weekend - Australian selection for the May 8 Anzac Test at Brisbane.

Laffranchi already has plenty of motivation against Souths - he marks his 150th game.

Meanwhile, Titans centre Brett Delaney (shoulder) is in doubt while Craig Wing (concussion) is expected to run out for the Rabbitohs.

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