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Titans coach undecided over Roberts call

Dumped by Penrith in March, talented youngster James Roberts remains a chance of debuting for new club Gold Coast against the Panthers on Saturday.
Titans coach undecided over Roberts call
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

GOLD COAST, June 6 AAP - Dumped by Penrith in March, talented youngster James Roberts remains a chance of debuting for new club Gold Coast against the Panthers on Saturday.

The 21-year-old is giving Titans coach John Cartwright plenty to think about as he mulls over his starting line-up in a bid to end a three-game NRL losing streak.

Centre pairing Brad Tighe and Brad Takairangi both trained on Friday but with both making their returns from injury, Cartwright admitted he is yet to make a call on whether to give Roberts the nod in place of either starter.

"We want them to be 100 per cent to play because we've got James there chomping at their heels, both those boys know that too," he said.

"It's a good spot to be in but we'll let them sleep on it and meet in the morning before we decide."

Halfback Albert Kelly will return to action for the Titans after completing training on Friday while co-captains Nate Myles and Greg Bird are also bolstering Cartwright's options in their return from State of Origin duties and suspension respectively.

With Aidan Sezer (pectoral) ruled out for several weeks and Bird managing a foot injury, Cartwright said winger Kevin Gordon will be the team's goalkicker against the Panthers.

"He's probably been practising as a goalkicker in the hope that one day it would happen," he said.

"It was a million-to-one but looks like it's happened."

While the Titans are aiming to halt a losing run, the Panthers have surged up to second on the ladder following three straight wins.

Coach Ivan Cleary has stuck with the same team which beat Parramatta last weekend, including Cartwright's nephew Bryce Cartwright on the interchange bench.

The Titans will need to be wary of the threat offered by halves pairing Jamie Soward and Peter Wallace, which Cartwright says is the key to the Panthers' good form.

"They're very experienced and they've got cool heads, can handle all situations really well," he said.

"When they're under the pump, when they're chasing points or when they're in front, they just seem to make all the right decisions.

"We've got to control our ball and control where they get it ... the key for us is to keep them out of that 30 metre zone because that's where they come into their own."




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