Finals pain still burns Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finals pain still burns Titans

By Jim Morton and David Beniuk 23/09/2010 05:36:06 PM Comments (0)

Scott Prince still feels the pain of Gold Coast's meek 2009 capitulation but has warned it's steeled his "Dad's Army" to end the Sydney Roosters' fairytale.

A tormented Prince revealed on Thursday the Titans were victims of their own success last season, when they finished third on the NRL ladder before crashing out of the play-offs in straight sets.

With all the hype and emotion surrounding the rise of the Roosters in 2010, the Coast captain said his experienced side had learned their lesson leading into Friday night's preliminary final.

More than 40,000 are set to pack Suncorp Stadium with the vast majority behind the Titans' tilt at a maiden grand final appearance.

Prince admitted defeat would hurt just as much as back-to-back finals losses to Brisbane (40-32) and Parramatta (27-2) last year but stressed the Coast were a smarter, more cool-headed outfit.

"For me personally, we were disappointed with the way we bowed out last year - it burns inside me and I don't want that to happen again," the 30-year-old playmaker said.

"It just hurts. It feels like yesterday we were playing Parramatta.

"It's an ill-feeling. The deeper you go, the deeper the wound."

Established in 2006, before debuting in 2007, the fledgling Titans failed to cope with their success leading into their maiden finals campaign.

"It was all new for us as a club and all new ground," Prince said.

"It was off-the-field stuff that we got a little bit caught up in with the emotional side of it instead of worrying about what we need to do to get the win and that's something we've certainly learnt.

"We've been given an opportunity off the back of our hard work through the year and we just don't want to throw it away.

"We don't want to get caught up by the hype of the game."

Wooden-spooners last year, the youthful Roosters' thrilling extra-time elimination final win over Wests Tigers followed by their 34-12 domination of Penrith has given them the momentum and the bulk of the attention.

A premiership winner with the Tigers in 2005, Prince said his rivals' exciting running play - with Todd Carney and Mitchell Pearce pulling the strings - had reminded him of the Tigers' shock triumph when he partnered Benji Marshall.

"In `05, that was a bunch of young guys having fun. I guess if you had to make a comparison, you'd have to say the Roosters (resemble that side)," the halfback said.

"They seem to have all the momentum at the moment, no fear about anything - at the end of the day that's their frame of mind.

"We have our standards and goals and if we come close to those, it will get us the win that we need."

But asked whether youth or experience was an advantage, Prince said: "At the moment, I'd have to say Dad's Army."

Both preliminary finals have been billed as battles between flair and grind but both Prince and Roosters captain Braith Anasta said any weaknesses would be exposed.

"Every team's got their own positives and I suppose negatives," Anasta said.

"Flair is good, attacking football is great but you've got to be able to defend well in semi-finals and that's something that we've got to work hard on in particular, our defence, and we'll be looking to do that this week as well."

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