Cartwright plays down Titans home record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cartwright plays down Titans home record

By Ian McCullough 30/07/2009 06:42:20 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast coach John Cartwright says the Titans' imperious home form will mean nothing if his side fails to book a top-four spot in the NRL finals this season.

Cartwright's team is sitting in third on the ladder and can make it 10 successive home wins if they beat a travel-shy North Queensland Cowboys, who have tasted victory just twice on their travels this year, on Friday.

However, the former Penrith and NSW second-rower insists the Titans need to keep winning to see off the threat of a cluster of in-form teams including Manly and Penrith, who sit just four points behind them.

"The record is something for the historians," Cartwright said.

"There is a lot more riding on this game than 10-in-a-row, the two points and staying away from the pack behind us is more important.

"We need to turn up on Friday and do the good things right and give ourselves a position to win the game."

Young Titans centre Esi Tonga will go head-to-head with his brother, Queensland and Cowboys star Willie, and Cartwright is hoping the 21-year-old will not be fazed by the occasion.

"It will be something that will be good for them both, going back to playing against each other in the backyard," he said.

"We just have to keep Esi's mind on the game and the jumper in front of him, we don't want him to get sucked into stuff he doesn't need to."

Titans co-captain Luke Bailey also played down his side's lofty position and admitted his team has not played to its potential in recent weeks.

"I think five out of 10 would be a truthful summary of how we have played," Bailey said.

"We are not playing the kind of footy that would win us games in the semi-finals.

"The first 40 minutes against Brisbane last week we were okay, but we tailed off a bit which was disappointing."

With the Cowboys also desperate for a win at Skilled Park, Bailey believes the game could be won in the forwards, with the former St George Illawarra prop moving into the backrow to replace the suspended Anthony Laffranchi.

"Every game between now and the end of the season is going to be pretty important," he said.

"The Cowboys have picked a very big side and as long as we can take care of those guys it will give us a better chance to have a look at Johnathan Thurston."

"He is a big threat for them and we have to make sure we don't let him dominate."

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