Titans look for more luck against Eels - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans look for more luck against Eels

By Laine Clark 14/09/2009 06:48:38 PM Comments (0)

The secret to the Gold Coast's perfect record against the rampaging Parramatta Eels has finally been revealed by Titans coach John Cartwright.

But rivals shouldn't get too excited.

The Titans haven't lost to the Eels since their 2007 inception - a run of three straight victories.

It is an envious record against arguably the form team of the NRL finals.

Especially ahead of their must-win semi-final against Parramatta at Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night.

Asked how they did it, Cartwright summed it up in one word - "luck".

"Sometimes you play against sides that you have good luck against, and so far we have had some luck against Parra and hopefully it continues," he said on Monday.

But surely it can't be just luck?

"It is one of those questions that you never know the answer to," Cartwright said.

"All we hope is that it continues this weekend."

The Titans will need all the luck they can get against a Jarryd Hayne-inspired Eels.

But Cartwright will be relying on more than just good fortune to stop the reigning Dally M Medallist.

He has a plan to limit the damage inflicted by the league's most dangerous player - then admitted it was easier said than done.

"You have to try and give him the ball where he is least dangerous - that's the bottom line," Cartwright said.

"No one likes to bring their ball out from behind the in-goal line, that's the key.

"There are stages in the game when he is going to be deadly, guys around the ball need to be urgent.

"But in saying that, not many sides have been able to stop him yet."

The Titans enjoyed a watershed round four victory in Melbourne by keeping another matchwinning fullback out of the game - Billy Slater.

But Cartwright said they had to draw up a different battleplan for Hayne.

"They are different types of players. Billy seems to have endless amounts of energy so you do have to keep the ball away from him," he said.

"Jarryd is more, `give him the ball where he doesn't want it'.

"Billy has a lot more involvements in a game while Jarryd is a lot of quality when he touches the ball."

Hayne didn't play the last time the teams met - an 18-12 round 18 win to the Gold Coast - due to Origin duty.

Cartwright let rip at the officials following last weekend's 40-32 loss to the Broncos, labelling them "disgraceful".

He was fined $10,000 on Monday - however, it was for approaching match officials at half-time of Saturday night's qualifying final loss.

Cartwright on Monday said he stood by his weekend comments but reckoned the Titans had moved on.

"The game is won between the ears, especially the big ones," Cartwright said.

"We have dealt with it pretty well. The fact that we were safe after the Bulldogs got home on the same night gave us a bit of comfort going into the weekend - we turned up here (Monday training) in a good frame of mind."

The cavalry has arrived for Cartwright with livewire William Zillman back from a four match ban for biting and centre Brett Delaney set to return from a hamstring complaint.

But there is a question mark over dual international Mat Rogers (concussion).

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