x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Coach Cartwright cool despite big Titans triumph

The Gold Coast Titans regained second spot in the NRL standings and underlined their title credentials with a 23-14 win over the Sydney Roosters.

The Gold Coast Titans regained second spot in the NRL standings and underlined their title credentials with a 23-14 win over the Sydney Roosters in a frantic encounter yesterday. In a game played at a breathless pace, second-half tries from Bodene Thompson and Clinton Toopi sealed a club-record-equalling fifth successive win for the Titans. Gold Coast are now all but guaranteed to have home advantage when the play-offs get started. But John Cartwright, the Titans coach, refused to get carried away with the result or the performance of his players, and said he is more than happy for his unheralded side to fly under the radar.

"We know we are in the finals and where we finish is up to us," he said. "We have the [Cronulla] Sharks away and the Wests Tigers at home ... so a lot of work to do. "This was important in cementing our place in the eight and if we win the rest of our games we will be in the top two. But we haven't secured a home final yet, so we are not getting ahead of ourselves." The Roosters' third successive defeat put a huge dent in their hopes of securing a home play-off.

They play the Manly Sea Eagles and the North Queensland Cowboys in their last two regular-season games and probably need to win at least one to confirm their place in the finals. Brian Smith, the Roosters coach, remained upbeat and said there were signs his players can return to their form of last month when they won five games in a row. "It wasn't the right result but we did some very good things," Smith said. "We are still sixth on the ladder and things are in our hands."

During the game Anthony Minichiello touched down for Sydney to join Bill Mullins (104) as the only Rooster to score 100 tries. * Australian Associated Press