Titans alive in race for NRL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans alive in race for NRL finals

By Daniel Pace 19/08/2007 06:30:36 PM Comments (0)

Gold Coast co-captain Scott Prince summed up the relief among the Titans following their 22-18 victory over the Sydney Roosters in wet conditions in their NRL clash at Carrara.

"It's keeping the dream alive," Prince commented after the Titans remained in the hunt for the finals and ensured Roosters caretaker coach Brad Fittler suffered his first defeat in six games at the helm.

The Roosters can mathematically still make the top eight but must win their remaining two matches and rely on other results going their way.

Gold Coast are on 22 competition points - equal with South Sydney and Brisbane, who are clinging to a top-eight spot.

Fittler labelled Sunday's stop-start match as "ugly" but Titans coach John Cartwright didn't care.

"There were a few good tries scored," said Cartwright after Gold Coast's final match at Carrara before the move to Skilled Park in Robina.

"Maybe ugly if you lose but we were pretty happy with it."

The Titans - who have claimed just two away victories this season - must win their remaining road trips to Cronulla and Melbourne to secure an historic finals berth.

"We are away but the reality is now we're down to the two games and they're two grand finals for us," Cartwright said.

"If we lose either one I'd say our season will be over. There's a lot more riding on next week's game and hopefully the week after."

In a match played in front of 17,423 in pelting rain, video referee Chris Ward was called upon nine times in a busy afternoon.

"It was one that got away," Fittler said.

"We've sort of been riding a wave and the importance of it will kick in later when we have a look at where we are at the moment.

"You could see both teams were trying hard and there was a lot at stake.

"It was just an ugly game so you can't be too critical."

Prince had a hand in tries to winger Matt Petersen (2nd minute) and centre Brett Delaney as the Titans skipped to a 12-0 lead.

Roosters fullback Sam Perrett scored a hat-trick of tries while Braith Anasta further enhanced his claims for a Kangaroos jersey for the one-off Test against New Zealand in October with another superb performance.

Anasta set up two of Perrett's tries and scored one himself in the 34th minute.

The Titans held a 16-10 half-time lead after Prince slid towards the line and just managed to get the ball on the chalk two minutes before the break.

A 51st minute try to back-rower Anthony Laffranchi gave the home side a valuable 22-10 lead.

Perrett scored again in the 67th minute and in the dying seconds but the Titans did enough to keep the opposition at bay.

Prince said he feared another spirited comeback from the Roosters, who have been involved in two golden-point wins over the past few weeks.

"They didn't panic at all and they were playing football right to the 80th minute," he said.

"Not for a minute did I think we were getting away from them."

Fittler remarked: I thought it was going to be another nailbiter."

Roosters utility Setaimata Sa, who started at halfback instead of the benched Mitchell Pearce, dislocated his hip in the sixth minute and was stretchered off the field.

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