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Titans must match Raiders muscle

Gold Coast Titans Captain Scott Prince believes matching Canberra's muscle up-front holds the key to victory in tomorrow's opening home match at Skilled Park.
Titans must match Raiders muscle
by NRL

Gold Coast Titans Captain Scott Prince believes matching Canberra's muscle up-front holds the key to victory in tomorrow's opening home match at Skilled Park.

The Jetstar Titans will be looking to make it two wins on the trot when they host the Raiders in their first appearance at Skilled Park for 2012 with a new look side that includes the likes of Jamal Idris, Nate Myles and Luke Douglas.

While the Titans were encouraged by a first-up 18-0 win over the Cowboys, the Raiders were gallant in defeat in a last-minute loss to the Melbourne Storm ? a performance which did not go unnoticed by the Gold Coasters.

With the Raiders boasting a hulking forward pack that can create plenty of opportunities for danger men in fullback Josh Dugun and halves Terry Campese and Josh McCrone, Titans Captain Scott Prince said shutting down their go-forward would prove the key to victory.

"They're a big physical team and I thought they were a little bit unlucky not to scrape away with a win against the Storm last week,'' said Prince.

"They'll take a lot of confidence out of that game and we know we have to play well to beat them.

"They've got a very big physical forward pack. They rely heavily on their big men and also Josh Dugun at the back.

"He's one of their dangers that we've pin-pointed along with the halves in Josh McCrone and Terry Campese, being back into the fold.

"They've got a few tricks up their sleeve but it most definitely starts in their pack.''

Dugun was particularly dangerous against the Storm, finishing the match with 25 runs for 257 metres gained - the highest in the NRL in Round 1.

Titans Coach John Cartwright said limiting Dugun's chances with the ball at the Titans' end of the field would be pivotal to shutting him down.

"You've just got to try and give him the ball where he least likes it - that's coming off his own try line,'' said Cartwright.

"There's no one in the game that likes to bring the ball out of there.

"You can go in with a plan and so many things can happen in a game that make that plan hard to achieve but you've just go to cut-out down his thinking time and try and put as much pressure around him as you can.''

Prince and Cartwright both highlighted the importance of the Titans improving their kicking game against the Raiders, with Prince and Rankin spending extra time on their attacking kicks at training this week.

"I thought our long kicking game last week was good but our attacking kicks weren't up to the mark,'' said Cartwright.

"They're two totally different things - but I thought when we had to find space on long kicks they were very good.

"We've done a lot of work this week on pin-pointing our attacking kicks a lot more so we can get some repeat sets.''

The Titans are expected to line-up as programmed from 1-17.

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