Titans fail if they miss finals

By DANIEL PACE

FAILURE to secure an NRL finals appearance in the Gold Coast's inaugural season would be unsatisfactory, according to co-captain Scott Prince and coach John Cartwright.

While many people have heaped praise on the Titans for staying in finals contention despite a crippling injury toll and lack of player depth, Cartwright and Prince will be disappointed if they miss the September action.

The Titans face a huge challenge in winning their remaining three matches against the Sydney Roosters, Cronulla and Melbourne to sneak into the top eight.

"The way I look at it, if you're not playing finals football then it's a disappointing year," Prince said ahead of Sunday's clash with the red-hot Sydney Roosters at Carrara.

"Across the board that's what everyone will be thinking in our club.

"We'd like to set a standard and a culture here that we want to be playing finals football every year.

"That's why we work so hard in the pre-season ... to be involved in% finals."

Cartwright added: "You have to be judged on where you finish and anything out of the eight is disappointing for me regardless of the injuries, being new to the competition or whatever.

"But individually and in other areas there's been a lot of success stories."

Prince said it was important for the Titans to finish the season on a high note, regardless of whether they qualified for the finals or not.

"I guess we've had our fair share of challenges this year and I think we've overcome them really well," the halfback said.

"Even if we don't make the finals we still want to finish the year well.

"It starts this week. We'll be up against a red-hot Roosters team and it'll be a great test for us."

Centre Mat Rogers (knee) makes his return against the Roosters, who are undefeated in their past five games since Brad Fittler took the reins as caretaker coach.

Chris Walker (hamstring) is likely to be named in the Titans' starting side today and will be monitored throughout the week.

Prince admitted Gold Coast's failure to capitalise on their opportunities against the Warriors, who they lost to 30-6, was a major concern at this stage of the season.

"It's been happening all year and it's something we need to work on."



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