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Titans coach can smile after hell week

Laine Clark 30/05/2011 08:02:45 PM Comments (0)

Not even a week from hell could make Gold Coast Titans mentor John Cartwright have second thoughts about juggling his NSW Origin duties.

Indeed Cartwright emerged from easily his toughest week as coach with renewed faith in not only the dead-last Titans but also the much maligned Blues.

A highlight reel could be made of the passionate Cartwright's reactions after the Titans were remarkably denied eight tries in their 28-6 loss to the Bulldogs last round, a result that plummeted them to the bottom of the NRL ladder.

It came 48 hours after NSW assistant Cartwright watched helplessly alongside coach Ricky Stuart as Queensland pulled off a 16-12 Origin I victory over NSW in the dying minutes.

Yet Cartwright somehow emerged from Titans training on Monday armed with something that had not been seen in weeks - a smile.

He could even find the positives from their four tries to one debacle against Canterbury.

"We created more chances than we have in the last two or three games," he offered.

"But when the rub of the green is not going with you the last pass goes down - that's the way it is going at the moment.

"It would have taken a very tough side mentally to get over that first half and come out and win the game.

"But they tried to get back into the game.

"I felt for the players - the harder they tried the errors crept in."

Cartwright did not believe juggling NSW duties had anything to do with the 2010 preliminary finalists' remarkable slide.

"If I think it is an issues, my priority is here," he said.

"When you are losing people try and read into things, that there are other issues than what's happening on the field.

"But we stay on top of things, we meet regularly and discuss things if there are issues.

"From my angle there are definitely no issues - we are just not getting it done on the field.

"But we still see ourselves being here at the end of the season and that won't change."

In a shot in the arm for the Titans, Queensland Origin lock Ash Harrison (shoulder) has already been cleared for the Gold Coast's next clash.

"Harro would have played if I wanted him to," Cartwright said.

"But he's got a very hectic schedule in front of him - I don't want to burn him out."

In keeping with his new sunny perspective, Cartwright even justified the NSW forwards' ordinary Origin I stats.

History shows Queensland's Matt Scott (154m) made more metres than NSW's four props combined.

NSW's Jason King made just 24m and Kade Snowden 46m.

"They (King, Snowden) didn't play a lot of game time - people don't realise Paul Gallen and Ben Creagh played a big part of the game in the front row," Cartwright said.

"I don't tend to read too much into those statistics."

Cartwright even hoped Stuart would remain faithful to the Origin I 17.

"Loyalty is a big thing," he said.

"In Origin you don't just pick it up in one game, sometimes it takes a few.

"If they get in that position again they will be a lot better prepared to make sure it (Queensland winning) doesn't happen again."

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