Titans upbeat despite injuries after win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans upbeat despite injuries after win

By Laine Clark and Wayne Heming 11/09/2010 11:49:51 AM Comments (0)

A week off must sound very tempting indeed for the battered Gold Coast Titans.

But coach John Cartwright claimed his gutsy side would "play Wednesday if we had to" after sealing their first NRL finals victory.

It's an attitude that had one of the NRL's most experienced players - Brent Tate - tipping the Titans to go all the way in 2010.

Depending on weekend results, the Titans may earn a week's rest before hosting a preliminary final after holding out the New Zealand Warriors 28-16 at a packed Skilled Park on Friday night.

It must sound like a fantasy for a Titans outfit that had another star addition to their already packed big-name injury list - Greg Bird (shoulder).

But Cartwright said as long as their heads were right, he was confident of going deep into the finals.

"You don't get the feeling we've got in there (dressing rooms) very often so we will be ready to go again whenever we have to play," Cartwright said.

"We'd be ready to play Wednesday if we had to.

"The pleasing thing (was) everyone was talking about injuries (outside the team) but no one within mentioned it.

"They were dead focused to play. You wouldn't have known we had any walking wounded out there."

That list only got longer with Bird falling awkwardly while Ash Harrison - who was recovering from a badly broken nose - also suffered a shoulder complaint.

Both are expected to back up in the next finals round.

Incredibly Scott Prince, Luke Bailey, Mat Rogers, Brad Meyers and Steve Michaels all needed pain-killing injections to run out against the Warriors.

Still Tate's Warriors could not stop them in front of more than 27,000 delirious fans.

Tate said the Warriors had come to the Gold Coast knowing they were playing probably the best team in the NRL.

"I reckon they're a huge chance (to win the premiership)," he said.

"I knew when we were coming here we were coming to play the toughest team in the comp.

"They've got big game players with Prince, Rogers, Bird and Harrison - those guys just know how to get the job done and that's the difference."

They may be hurting but the pain of last year's finals freefall stung the most, according to Prince.

"Last year just feels like yesterday - that ill feeling (after) bowing out with two straight losses," Prince said.

"So we will lick our wounds and go back to the drawing board on Monday."

It may have been the Titans' maiden finals win - and the first by a Gold Coast rugby league team since the Chargers in 1997 - but Cartwright wasn't popping the champagne just yet.

"It's very satisfying but we know the job's not done yet," he said.

"It was a final and we won it. The first 40 minutes were as good as we've executed all year, that won us the game.

"If we can turn that 40 minutes into 50-60 minutes we'll be even harder to beat."

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