Respect not a worry for bounced Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Respect not a worry for bounced Titans

By Steve Jancetic 19/09/2009 12:58:12 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast skipper Scott Prince couldn't care less whether or not the Titans have earned the respect of their NRL rivals - because he believes the players themselves now know that they can mix it with the big boys.

The Titans bowed out of the NRL finals after going down to a rampaging Parramatta side 27-2 at the Sydney Football Stadium on Friday night, bringing to an end a disappointing inaugural playoff campaign for the club, in which they failed to chalk up a win.

However, the double finals failure did little to dampen Prince's expectations as he looked ahead to next season.

The former Wests Tigers premiership-winning skipper was confident his side's bold showing during the regular season - in which they finished third - and the experience of a finals campaign would hold the club in good stead, no matter what the critics said.

"The respect factor is not an issue - the more important thing is we as a group know that we can mix it with the best of them and know that we can win games," Prince said.

"We'll take a lot of belief out of that, and we'll enjoy the break and come back ready to go in the pre-season and hopefully we'll be here again."

The Titans were given little chance of beating the red-hot Eels, who made it nine wins from their last 10 games to set up an eagerly-anticipated preliminary final clash with the Bulldogs next Friday night.

Despite the lop-sided scoreline, coach John Cartwright dismissed the notion his side saved their worst performance for last.

Rather, Cartwright was left lamenting their qualifying final loss to Brisbane and his team's inability to produce at the crucial moments in the loss to the Eels, like when prop Matthew White dropped the ball over the line just after the break with his side trailing 12-2.

"I wouldn't say it was our worst, I thought they hung in pretty well," Cartwright said.

"Parramatta's on a roll, they're going to be very hard to beat.

"In hindsight, last week was maybe the one that got away. We had a lot of opportunities in that game to win it and maybe a little bit of inexperience cost us."

That loss to Brisbane forced the Titans to travel south to take on the Eels in front of almost 30,000 fans at the Sydney Football Stadium, 90 per cent of whom were there to support the blue and golds.

Despite the scheduling, Cartwright refused to lay the boot into the McIntyre finals system, which had rewarded the Eels - who scrapped into the top eight - with home ground advantage.

"I'd say yes now," Cartwright said when asked if the top four sides should be given home ground advantage in the second week of the finals.

"That's debatable, there's positives and negatives for it.

"You know what the rules are before you go into it."

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