His side may have won the game at home to keep their finals hopes alive, but Titans coach John Cartwright has implored his team to use the narrow win as a “wake-up call”, as they approach two tough games in the coming weeks.
Whilst Cartwright refused to use excuses about the way his side played despite the victory, he did call his side lethargic – pointing out the bruising contests against Melbourne and South Sydney, that sapped all their energy.
I was a bit disappointed at times but in hindsight it was a dangerous game and we got a victory. We win our next two games and we’ll be there (in the finals),” Cartwright said.
“Hopefully that was a bit of a wake-up call for us. You can’t be flat, it doesn’t matter who you play at the moment, especially us.
“After the first third of the competition, I think we were favourites for the wooden spoon so if we can somehow land ourselves in the eight, it’ll be just reward for the players’ efforts.”
With more wins in their remaining two games on the agenda, Cartwright knows that his side needs improvement against Penrith next weekend, at Centrebet Stadium.
“I think mentally we were a little bit down, Cartwright said.
“The way the game was officiated, it didn’t allow for an open brand of footy. It was a pretty dour game.”
Club stalwart Greg Bird also had a say, saying: “If we want to be competing with the big sides, we have to be consolidating leads like that (12-0) rather than struggling away in the second half.
“I’m happy we got the win but there’s a few defensive errors that we spoke about at the start of the week and we just lacked discipline.”
The game was not without an element of controversy, however, with the obstruction ruling again set to rear its ugly head – with both Eels coach Brad Arthur and captain Nathan Hindmarsh disappointed with the ruling on one of the Titans tries.
“Does anyone know what the rule is? Am I allowed to say that?” Eels veteran Nathan Hindmarsh said.
In typical Hindmarsh fashion, he then added with a rather cheeky grin: “It’s a grey area.”
Arthur was clearly angered by the call, and wants answers on the true interpretation of the rule.
“Are you allowed to run behind your player and score a try? We definitely need to get an answer of what the ruling is.
“There needs to be a rule that we can all work off.”
For Titans coach John Cartwright, however, he believed that the try was indeed fair.
“You’ve got to impede a defender and there was no defender impeded,” he said.