Titans keep Raiders at bay despite late fightback

William Zillman

Some may believe that a finals appearance is out of their reach, but Titans coach John Cartwright says that that is the last thing anyone can afford to do – as his side defeated the Canberra Raiders in Canberra, 38-26.

With seven games remaining in the regular season, the Titans lie just two points outside of the NRL top 8, and despite a late fightback from the Raiders in the game, it was the Titans who held onto the game.

“We’re at the stage now where we have to win,” Cartwright said.

“There’s no hiding from that.

“But with the side that we have – whether we’re mathematically possible to make the eight – I wouldn’t write us off.

“If we can win the majority of our games, we can find ourselves there.”

The win was the Titans seventh of the season, but a surprising statistic, is that of those seven wins, five them have come away from home – a stat that Titans captain Scott Prince is baffled by.

“I take my pillow away. Maybe that works,” he joked.

“A couple of years ago we made Skilled Park a bit of a fortress – I think we only lost one – and our away record was pretty dismal, so I don’t know.”

Prince made mention of the confidence factor that the Titans had, heading into the match.

“Our main focus was just to get into a grind with the Raiders, really work their big men in the middle and then it would open up on the edges,” Prince said.

“I guess it’s fortunate for us it panned out.”

The Raiders loss means that their own finals aspirations are on thin ice, but captain David Shillington can see a worrying pattern in Raiders games – that they score early, but cannot hold onto their early lead.

“We actually did that against the Cowboys as well, we scored a good one early on and made an error and dropped our bundle, so there’s some sort of pattern there.”

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