Raiders don't scare injured Titans
DESPITE surprisingly conceding his forward pack won't be fully fit, Gold Coast coach John Cartwright says the Titans won't be intimidated by a massive Canberra Raiders outfit at Skilled Park on Friday night.
Brad Meyers has already been ruled out for “two to three weeks” by Cartwright due to a shoulder injury while Michael Henderson is still nursing a groin complaint.
And question marks remain over Aaron Cannings (shoulder) and Mark Minichiello (ankle).
Cannings was surprisingly named in the starting side for the home clash despite dislocating his shoulder in their last round win over North Queensland. Minichiello was also included in the top 13.
However, both will be given until the final training run tomorrow to prove their fitness.
Cartwright admitted the Titans would need all the forward muscle they could muster against a Raiders outfit which boasts the likes of Queensland Origin hopefuls David Shillington and Scott Logan.
But Cartwright conceded: “It would be nice if they were all fit but I don't think they are going to be.
“So we've got to be smart.
“There are certain ways of playing big sides, and Canberra is a very big side.
“Not only in the forwards but across the park - their five-eighth Terry Campese is over the 100kg mark. But we won't be intimidated at all.”
The Titans are flying high with a 4-1 record following gritty away wins at Townsville and Melbourne.
But once again they are plagued by fitness concerns.
In their previous two seasons, the Gold Coast's wonderful season starts have been sabotaged by a long injury list.
Titans pivot Mat Rogers sounded determined to ensure that history would not repeat in 2009, with the Titans making the most of every opportunity.
“We've really got to make it count,” said Rogers.
“If we go out and put in an ordinary performance this Friday then the previous two weeks really mean nothing.
“We know if we can win our fair share away from home and maintain a clean sheet at home then we will be thereabouts at the end of the year.”
Rogers said the Titans' tight defence would again be the key.
The Titans have conceded just 64 points in five games - behind only outright ladder leaders the Dragons (53).
“Defence is usually an attitude thing and ...we all have the right attitude this year - it's a real different outfit this year,” Rogers said.
“Hopefully we can maintain that.
“But we've been here before. It's a matter of maintaining it.”