Titans sweat on Campbell for Eels match - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans sweat on Campbell for Eels match

12/07/2009 04:59:39 PM Comments (0)

One of the NRL's most enviable records goes on the line when the Gold Coast Titans host a desperate Parramatta at Skilled Park.

But the jury is out on whether veteran fullback Preston Campbell will take his place in a Titans outfit hoping to extend their impressive home run on Monday night.

Still battling the flu, Campbell failed to train with the main group on Sunday but will be given until match-day morning to prove his fitness.

While the Titans will be hoping to extend their 7-0 home record in 2009 against the lowly Eels, Gold Coast coach John Cartwright said it would be "silly" to risk Campbell with a short turnaround before next Friday night's clash with the Bulldogs.

Campbell battled on bravely through illness in last round's 34-28 loss at Canberra.

"It (the Bulldogs game) definitely comes into play," Cartwright said of Campbell's selection chances.

"First things first, we want to beat Parramatta and if he is 100 per cent fit he will play.

"But if he is not you would be silly to put him out there and expect him to back up against the Dogs the following week."

Only four teams in the last 15 years have gone through a season undefeated on home soil.

Canberra (1994), Manly (1996), Brisbane (2000) and Melbourne (2007) did not drop a game at home - and they all went on to take out the premiership.

The Titans will be backing themselves for win No.8 at Skilled Park - Parramatta have never beaten the Gold Coast.

"Whilst it is a comforting thought, it is not the stadium, the guys still have to turn up and perform," Cartwright said.

The cavalry has returned for the Titans - Luke Bailey (broken arm), Mark Minichiello (ankle) and Mat Rogers (ribs) are back from lengthy injuries.

"It's a good feeling at the moment, a few of the guys have been on a Contiki tour so it's good to have Rat (Rogers), Bails and Mini back," Titans co-captain Scott Prince laughed.

Prince did not have to be reminded that the Eels (14th; 5-1-9 record) need a win to keep alive their faint finals hopes.

However, Prince made it clear just how much yet another win for the Titans meant.

"Back-to-back losses hurt team morale and confidence, and self belief," Prince said.

"We have a fair record at home and we would like to keep that intact - we want to get back to that winners' circle again."

The Titans have also been boosted by the re-signing of forwards Matt White and Aaron Cannings for another year.

"A big part of your team performance is to have players at ease," Cartwright said of the re-signings.

"It's hard when you don't come to terms with players but those fellas have a bit of security in the fact that they will be here next year.

"We are working towards the business part of the year so they can now focus on their footy."

Meanwhile, Chris Walker has been linked to North Queensland and Brisbane after knocking back a one-year Titans deal.

He is also contemplating lucrative English Super League deals.

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