Depth finally no problem for Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Depth finally no problem for Titans

By Laine Clark 28/08/2009 07:27:53 PM Comments (0)

Depth is so impressive at the Gold Coast Titans that coach John Cartwright will rest his big guns during games as they count down to their maiden NRL finals campaign.

While wary of taking on a desperate Wests Tigers at Skilled Park on Saturday, Cartwright was adamant it was time to ease some players through the final regular season rounds with a top four spot already locked up.

The Titans were further bolstered by the long awaited addition of Queensland backrower Ashley Harrison after he finally shook off a rib complaint originally suffered during the State of Origin series in mid-July.

"It gives us the opportunity to rest players during the game so they won't be playing as many minutes over the next couple of weeks," Cartwright said.

"We definitely won't be sacrificing a win but I've got faith that the guys on the bench can do the job of the guys that they replace."

The embarrassment of riches around Cartwright is in stark contrast to the Titans' injury-cruelled first two seasons.

To put it in perspective, the Titans have used 27 players this season to date - 10 less than the previous season.

Cartwright revealed how close it came to 28 with Harrison only rated a "50-50" prospect earlier this week.

"But once it improved, it improved pretty quickly," he said.

"He adds steel. He showed that in the State of Origin period - the tougher the games, the better Harro seems to go.

"Sometimes in the course of a season you might not notice the work that he does but when the games get tight he's the sort of guy you look to.

"We've got some big games in front of us.

"He's got a lot of experience and a cool head - it's great to have him on board."

Harrison clearly did not make a good spectator but still used his time on the sidelines effectively, pinpointing how the third-placed Titans could get even better.

"We are playing good footy but there are areas that we can get better at and will need to get better at if we want to compete in the playoffs," he said.

"We will be looking at improving starting this week."

That's hardly music to the ears of the wounded Wests Tigers.

Apart from being without their first choice back three of Shannon Gallant, Taniela Tuiaki and Beau Ryan, the Tigers are reeling from this week's three-match ban of Bryce Gibbs for kneeing Eels winger Luke Burt.

To boot, forwards John Skandalis and Chris Heighington are in serious doubt despite being named.

The 10th-placed Tigers need to win both of their last two matches to be a chance of a finals berth.

"Their playmakers are there, probably the guy they will miss the most is their big winger (Tuiaki)," Cartwright said.

"But they are a dangerous side. We will have to be on the job."

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