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Injury-hit Titans desperate to avoid spoon

21/08/2011 02:18:28 PM Comments (0)

The cavalry isn't coming for the Gold Coast Titans.

As the club faces two massive games against Wests Tigers and Parramatta in a last-ditch effort to avoid the NRL wooden spoon, the casualty ward will remain full.

Following their breakthrough 26-18 win over Canberra on Saturday night, coach John Cartwright was quizzed on whether any of his injured troops would return for the must-win clash against the Tigers in round 25.

"Not really," he said.

"That's the thing, most of them are long-term.

"We've got Kayne Lawton, who may be OK next week, Benny Ridge would play at a pinch."

The situation is so dire the club had only 17 players available for selection against Canberra.

One of them, centre Clinton Toopi, didn't play.

He was only named on the bench because he insisted he was fit following a scary bout of dizziness against the Melbourne Storm the previous week.

"We didn't use Clinton Toopi as a precaution," Cartwright said.

"He put his hand up to say he'd play but I was a little bit worried about his health following what happened last week.

"He was 100 per cent cleared but I wasn't 100 per cent confident of putting him out there.

"He'll have a week of training and if he gets through that we'll be able to use him next week."

The club's injury list includes a glut of first grade experience in Scott Prince, Nathan Friend, Ashley Harrison, Luke Bailey, Michael Henderson, Kevin Gordon, Ryan James, Beau Henry and Mat Rogers.

None are rated much of a chance of returning again this season.

But Cartwright praised the tenacity of his remaining troops, especially youngsters Dominique Peyroux and Will Matthews - who scored their first ever NRL tries against the Raiders.

The match against Parramatta in round 26 looms as the match that will decide the wooden spoon winners of 2011.

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