Thursday – Round 3 NRL Preview / Prediction
By Joel Zander
The NRL’s newest franchise has taken just two rounds to open their account, with the Gold Coast Titans coming from behind to beat the Sharks 18-16 in a thriller at Carrara Stadium on Monday evening.
Down 16-6 with 30 minutes remaining, Wests Tigers recruit Scott Prince and former Shark Preston Campbell combined to steer the Titans home in their first NRL match on the Gold Coast.
Prince and five-eighth Matt Hilder put Mark Minichiello over in the 57th minute and then Prince’s short pass to Campbell saw the little full-back force his way over with six minutes remaining.
Campell made it three conversions from three to put the Titans in front and ultimately give them the win.
The Sharks had led 10-6 at half-time in “the battle of the beaches” after scoring just seconds before the break.
“I’m very happy, it was looking a bit dodgy with 20 minutes to go, they had the ascendancy and were playing well,” Titans coach John Cartwright told a press conference.
“But we really dug in well from there, we got a couple of tries when we needed them and held on well in the end.
“The tries that we scored were good understanding between guys.”
The Titans came from behind against St George Illawarra in their debut match last week only to fall short, but had no such problems this time.
“I suppose the most impressive thing from the coach’s points of view and the fans that were here was the fightback again. They fought hard and were very courageous,” Cartwright said.
Prince, who was a doubt in the lead-up because of injury, was happy to be part of the maiden win.
“The people on the Gold Coast have been waiting a long time for this, just to have the Titans back on the coast,” he said.
“I suppose now we’ve got the monkey off the back and the two points in the bag.”
Sharks coach Ricky Stuart was understandably disappointed, saying his players had dropped too much ball early in the tackle count.
“We had it there to beat them and when you let is slip, it’s disappointing,” he said.
But he said he was happy for Cartwright, who was his assistant at the Roosters.
“I’m really happy for Johnny, it’s good for rugby league that the Gold Coast are up and running,” he said.
He said he might leave a beer with Cartwright for a later date and the Titans coach said he understood.
“I’ll let him cool down, I know what he’s like after a loss,” Cartwright quipped.
Entertaining Warriors bust up Broncos
Warriors 24 – Broncos 14
An exciting NZ Warriors outfit has gone back to back in their victory over the Broncos in Auckland today. Stylish, flowing Rugby League was turned on by the Warriors with their Aussie contingent of Witt, Crocket, Price and Martin all playing brilliantly. The Broncos slump to their second loss for the year and last years premiers have nothing to show for 2007. Click here for full review.
Brilliant Bunnies belittle the Eels
Souths 31 – Eels 6
In a comprehensive display the fast improving South Sydney clan simply cruised past the Eels today in NRL Sunday at Telstra Stadium. The Bunnies were slick in attack and rock solid in defence, and made the again poor Eels look like a reserve grade team. It was a Rugby League lesson for Parramatta as their former coach Taylor and old boys Kidwell, Irvine, J.Smith and Widders made them pay. Click here for full report.
Storm outlast Toiling Raiders
Storm 32 – Raiders 16
A brave Raiders team put up an impressive fight against NRL giants the Melbourne Storm last night in the ACT. The class and experience of the Storm eventually came through, with the powerhouse club scoring a telling blow just before half time. Click here for full review.
Cool Cowboys toast Roosters
Cowboys 43 – Roosters 6
A slick Cowboys outfit ran rings around the average Roosters in Townsville last night. We can almost hear Nick Politis’ screams from Bondi as the Roosters do some soul searching.
The Cowboys were in the zone from the first minute, and were an excitement machine! Click here for full review.
Aiton Show, as Panthers pummell Dogs
Penrith 40 – Bulldogs 10
Video Review: Click Here
Tonight it was Penrith of yesteryear, as the Panthers put on a Rugby League clinic against the highly fancied Bulldogs. After a physical, yet sloppy start to the game – in which both sides took an age to settle. The injection of hooker Paul Aiton for Penrith – saw the tides turn big time. Aiton set the benchmark and the rest of the Penrith players followed. Read full article here.
Knights 16 – Dragons 12
Video Review: Click Here
In a close affair the Knights have defeated the Saints by 4 points at Oki Jubilee tonight. For the Knights, Kidley, Abraham and new boy McManus were dangerous with every touch. The Knights look to have a stronger and more willing defensive line in 2007 – it seems coach Smith has installed pride in the line. They showed nice attacking flair in parts with Mullen having good involvement. Click here for full article.
Friday Night Football Guide
Your survival guide for tonights match-up’s between the Dragons / Knights and Bulldogs / Panthers. Be sure and get all the information before you finalise your tipping. Don’t forget to check our predictions table also. Click here for preview article.