Titans will play with pain, says Prince - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans will play with pain, says Prince

By Laine Clark 09/09/2010 09:05:39 PM Comments (0)

The walking wounded at the Gold Coast Titans have vowed to "play with the pain" in their crunch NRL finals clash with New Zealand Warriors at Skilled Park on Friday night.

Especially after losing fullback Preston Campbell (hamstring) for at least another week.

The Titans' injury list reads like a "who's who" of the club.

Besides Campbell, Scott Prince (shoulder), Luke Bailey (thumb), Ash Harrison (nose), Brad Meyers (ribs), Steve Michaels (shoulder) and Mat Rogers (hip) are all under injury clouds.

Titans coach John Cartwright will reassess them again on Friday, just hours before kick-off.

But Prince said nothing would stop them from running out in their crucial home final.

"These games you don't want to miss - you play with the pain," Prince said.

"You do whatever it takes to take the field."

Campbell had hoped to return to the team after weeks of nursing his hamstring but succumbed again following a searching test at Skilled Park on Thursday.

William Zillman again dons the No.1 jersey with Jordan Atkins filling the wing vacancy, putting him on a crash course with opposite number Manu "The Beast" Vatuvei.

"It wasn't right to risk him," Cartwright said of Campbell.

"It is a very big blow. Presto is a very important member of the side for a lot of reasons.

"But we have built a good platform to be able to cover for him."

Prince threw a scare through the Titans camp when he came off the field clutching his shoulder in last round's 21-18 win over Wests Tigers which sealed back-to-back top four season finishes for the club.

While Prince conceded he would be a target for the huge Warriors side, he said he would not be a liability.

"I would expect to be targeted, it is the same with every game I play," he said.

"But the shoulder has pulled up much better than expected - I thought it would be a lot worse than it is.

"And even over the last 24 hours it has really improved."

Just in case, recently re-signed centre Clinton Toopi will be Prince's "bodyguard" on Friday night.

"I will be playing Whitney Houston and he will be Kevin Costner," he joked.

Adding to Prince's joy is their record against the Warriors - the Titans have won their last five encounters and enjoy a perfect 3-0 record at Skilled Park.

But Prince has overcome bigger obstacles than the massive Warriors line-up this season.

Six months ago he was reeling after being diagnosed with a broken thumb.

But what hurt most was the NRL investigating allegations the Titans breached salary cap regulations by secretly arranging to have a $400,000 house built for Prince.

He was later cleared, but the pain remained.

All that must have seemed like a lifetime ago when Prince relaxed at home on Tuesday night after helping the Titans seal a home final and flicked on the TV to see he had won the Dally M Halfback of the Year award.

"It was rumoured that I was a nominee for the award but I never thought I would win it," Prince said.

"Especially after this season which has been a rollercoaster for me personally, on and off the field.

"I was watching on the couch and had a bit of a giggle with the wife."

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