Cartwright to coach City v Country
GOLD Coast Titans boss John Cartwright will coach the City Origin side for this year's clash with Country Origin at Orange on May 8.
Cartwright replaces Tim Sheens in the City role following the Wests Tigers' coach appointment as Australia coach last month.
Cartwright has been assistant coach of the national squad for the past two seasons.
The former Kangaroo played for NSW eight times during a distinguished playing career comprising 184 First Grade games.
“John has acquitted himself well in a number of assistant coaching roles with our representative teams in the past,” NSWRL general manager Geoff Carr said yesterday.
“His elevation to head coach of the City side is testament to the terrific work he has done with our teams and also the success he has had with the Titans.”
Meanwhile, Cartwright has paid tribute to Esi Tonga, who is fast becoming more than Willie's little brother, saying he has “a tough of class”.
Cartwright said a backflick from Tonga gifted Friend a 37th minute try and started a Gold Coast fightback to beat the Knights 34-20.
Down 14-0 after 29 minutes, the Titans went into the halftime break ahead 16-14 after Tonga's heroics.
Tonga finally put the Knights away when his clever lead-up work set flyer William Zillman on an 80m run that sealed the match-winning try.
“That (backflick) was probably a major turning point,” Cartwright said.
“To be able to go from 14-0 down to leading at halftime on the back of a try like that - the feeling in the shed was great.”