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Titans aim to deliver against Storm

Gold Coast can use their narrow defeat to South Sydney as motivation for Monday's night's NRL clash with Melbourne, according to coach John Cartwright.
Titans aim to deliver against Storm
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

BRISBANE, June 23 AAP - Gold Coast can use their narrow defeat to South Sydney as motivation for Monday's night's NRL clash with Melbourne, according to coach John Cartwright.

The Titans lost a thrilling contest against Souths last week by six points in Cairns and Cartwright believes that shows the team is not far off succeeding against the competition's elite.

"We've had a really good week and took a lot of positives out of the Souths game," Cartwright told reporters on Sunday.

"The main one being, the game was there to be won. If we had done the things we've done in previous weeks we would have beaten them.

"We just went away from playing team footy at the end of the game."

Both teams are shorn of key players due to State of Origin commitments with co-captains Greg Bird and Nate Myles missing for the Titans while Melbourne have to replace Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk, Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman.

Myles will be replaced by Luke Douglas in the Titans front-row while on Sunday Luke O'Dwyer's return from a broken jaw was confirmed after he was named on the bench in place of youngster Sam Irwin.

The Storm's absent stars have forced a multitude of changes for the premiers following last week's win over Newcastle.

Regular stand-off Gareth Widdop will move into fullback while Brett Finch is in the No.7 jersey, Slade Griffin comes in at hooker and Tohu Harris starts in the back-row.

Cartwright said recalling O'Dwyer was all about ensuring his team have the right balance against the Storm.

"When you look at our bench with (Mark) Ioane, (Ben) Ridge, (Ryan) James and O'Dwyer, they haven't had a lot of game time," he said.

"If you picked up an injury early, having the extra forward, it's probably a safeguard against an injury.

"Also with Mini and Dave Taylor, they haven't played a lot of 80 minutes this year, so I just thought it was best to give us more minutes on the bench."




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