Prince leads in Titans win over Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Prince leads in Titans win over Panthers

By Daniel Pace 01/05/2010 09:12:23 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast Titans skipper Scott Prince showed no signs of rust as he masterminded a 38-24 victory over Penrith in Saturday night's NRL match at Skilled Park.

In his return from a five-week spell due to a broken thumb, Prince was instrumental in the six-tries-to-four victory that moved his side into outright second on the premiership ladder behind St George Illawarra.

The scheming halfback bagged a try and kicked seven goals for a personal haul of 18 points after only getting the pin removed from his thumb on Tuesday and having just one training session to prepare for the match.

"I copped a couple of whacks throughout the game," said Prince, who wore a hand guard for protection.

"I'm just happy there was no damage done. I'll take a lot of confidence out of that."

The trio of Prince, Preston Campbell and Greg Bird pulled the strings as the Titans ran amok in the second half against a Panthers outfit which lost damaging back-rower Frank Pritchard to a grade one groin strain in the warm-up.

"It just makes life easier," said Prince about his connection with Campbell and Bird.

"You can pick and choose when you want to inject yourself."

Titans coach John Cartwright said he was concerned his players might have been flat against Penrith - who were chasing five straight wins - after the Gold Coast's gritty victory over Manly in Sydney five days before.

He need not have worried.

"That was the real bonus having Princey come into the side, some fresh legs and leadership on the field," Cartwright said.

"I gave them the option to miss a (training) session this week but they didn't want to take it, which is a good sign."

Asked what was the most pleasing aspect of the 14-point victory, Prince said:

"Defence. The guys just having a real dig and coming up with some good, aggressive defence."

Prince demonstrated his class shortly after halftime with the scores looked at 12-12.

The halfback batted back a Campbell grubber that looked certain to go dead and Ashley Harrison was on the spot to secure an easy try in front of 15,430 fans.

The Panthers were dominated in the second half despite the efforts of fullback Lachlan Coote, who scored a hat-trick of tries.

"I think their whole team was outstanding tonight," Elliott said about the Titans.

"They came off a short turn-around and we had to take our medicine."

Cartwright wouldn't be drawn on nominating Gold Coast players he felt deserved selection for Friday's trans-Tasman Test in Melbourne.

But he did say that back-rower Anthony Laffranchi, who scored a try off a beautiful Campbell pass, could easily partner Petero Civoniceva in the front-row.

The Titans led 32-12 in the 68th minute before two tries to Coote brought some respectability to the scoreline, despite Gold Coast prop Luke Bailey touching down just before fulltime.

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