Titans tough to beat at home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans tough to beat at home

By Wayne Heming 09/07/2009 05:22:49 PM Comments (0)

Only four NRL teams in the past 15 years have gone through the regular season unbeaten at home.

Canberra (1994), Manly (1996), Brisbane (2000) and Melbourne (2007) did not drop a game at home.

They all went on to take out the premiership, while the Broncos also won the 1997 Super League grand final after being unbeaten at home during the regular season.

After 17 rounds of the 2009 NRL season only two teams - the Bulldogs and Gold Coast Titans - remain unbeaten at home with seven wins each.

If the Titans can keep their Skilled Park record intact against Parramatta on Monday, they can attempt to end the Bulldogs' streak the following weekend in the second clash on the NRL's double-header card at Suncorp Stadium.

The game, which will be played after Brisbane host South Sydney, will be the Bulldogs' home game.

"I love playing home games," declared Titans co-captain and representative prop Luke Bailey, hoping to gain a specialist clearance to return from a fractured arm against the Eels on Monday night.

"Hopefully we can keep our winning record going, not many teams get the chance to go through the whole year without losing a game at home.

"We're pretty keen on keeping that record intact."

It won't be easy.

After Parramatta, the Titans face the Broncos, Cowboys, Cronulla and West Tigers at home between away games against the Bulldogs, Warriors and South Sydney before a tough last-round clash with defending premiers Manly at Brookvale Oval.

The Titans - averaging the second best crowds in the NRL behind the Broncos - have been good performers at home since entering the premiership in 2007.

They won seven of their 10 games at Carrara Stadium while their purpose-built Skilled Park fortress was being built at Robina.

They welcomed their fans to Skilled Park with seven straight wins but the streak ended with a string of injuries to key players Scott Prince, Luke Bailey and Mark Minichiello and a host of support players leading to a late-season collapse.

They didn't win one of their last five home games, fading to finish 13th, six points behind the eighth-placed Warriors.

This year, they've equalled their seven-game winning streak and appear better placed on the injury front to push towards their first finals series.

"I think we're in a more comfortable position than the previous two years," said Bailey.

"We've been able to give a few guys like Mat (Rogers) an extra week to get over some niggling injuries.

"This is a tough time of the year so to have all players on deck injury free and to have not that much involvement in Origin, is a bonus.

"We've broken down at this point the last two seasons but hopefully this year we can aim up better."

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