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Titans still impress coach Cartwright

Statistical anomaly Gold Coast may have lost NRL top spot but coach John Cartwright says they still ticked the box that got them there in a tight loss to Penrith.
Titans still impress coach Cartwright
by AAP

By Laine Clark

BRISBANE, April 22 AAP - Statistical anomaly Gold Coast may have lost NRL top spot but coach John Cartwright says they still ticked the box that got them there in a tight loss to Penrith.

After becoming the first team in 60 years to lead the ladder with a negative points differential, the Titans dropped back to the pack by finishing on the wrong side of Monday night's 14-12 result.

They have five wins after seven rounds along with Canterbury, Wests Tigers and Manly but their negative for and against (-7) relegates them to fourth place.

Cartwright still liked what he saw in the gritty display, with the Titans continuing to hammer the Panthers' line until a last gasp Albert Kelly cross field kick went awry.

"A win would have been lovely but we competed for the 80 minutes," he said on Tuesday.

"It was probably similar to the games that we played in the last month where we looked down at stages but were able to get back to win.

"We have things to fix up but with the things that win you football games, they are doing very well."

Cartwright almost bristled when asked if the early season wins that earned his side top place had "papered over cracks" in their game.

"I don't think there are any cracks," he said.

"Look at all the sides over the weekend. It's just how footy is being played at the moment.

"There's no other side doing much different to what we are doing - we just happened to be winning games."

Despite having been dismissed by some as "false leaders" during their time at the top, Cartwright doesn't believe the Titans need to topple second placed Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday to silence the naysayers.

"There are a few out there saying that," he said.

"But the bottom line is that the win-loss ratio is where you are going to be judged.

"And when you look at averages you always take away your best and worse performances.

"And when you do that, we are right up there with the very best so I am not worried about what people say."

Matt White (two games, grade two dangerous throw) has been replaced by Mark Ioane for the Tigers clash.

He joins Luke Bailey (ankle) and William Zillman (hamstring) on the sidelines.




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