By DANIEL PACE
GOLD Coast have raised expectations with their impressive pre-season form but dual international Mat Rogers has warned fans the NRL newcomers have achieved nothing yet.
Less than two weeks away from their season-opener against St George Illawarra on Sunday, March 18 in Brisbane, the Titans sent a strong message they could pose a genuine threat in the NRL with a 28-6 win over a near full-strength Penrith at Carrara on Friday night.
The Titans can be proud of their defensive effort during their trials, including a win over 2006 semi-finalists Parramatta, but their attack still lacks polish and their ball control has been woeful at times.
"I'm looking forward to the day we do start to gel with the ball in hand," coach John Cartwright said.
Rogers said he was delighted at the sight of his teammates hurling themselves into the Panthers in a solid defensive effort.
"It's inspirational, it really is," the former Wallabies star said.
"I think we can get better without a doubt but we have to keep a lid on it. We haven't done anything yet.
"We've won a couple of trial matches."
While those wins over a near full-strength Parramatta and Penrith have raised the expectations of Titans supporters, Cartwright was quick to hose down expectations.
"I said to someone we'd love to be four competition points but we're not and we have a really tough one against St George," he said.
"The trial form, while good for our match fitness and spirit, it means nothing when we get out there.
"The results have been great but we haven't played well.
"We're still finding each other out and we don't have that sixth sense where the inside man knows what the outside man's doing." Cartwright is also struggling to come to terms with a lengthening injury list.
Luke O'Dwyer, Jake Webster, Mark Minichiello, Brad Meyers, Michael Henderson, Nathan Friend, Daniel Conn and Michael Hodgson are all recovering from various injuries.
Kiwi international Webster was cleared of serious injury after undergoing a scan on Saturday and will be right for the Titans' opening NRL game against the St George Dragons at Suncorp Stadium in BRisbane on Sunday, March 18 while utility O'Dwyer was scheduled for a scan on his ankle yesterday.
Former Queensland Origin centre Chris Walker was among the stars on Friday night and is certain to sign a one-year deal with the Titans this week.