Injuries can either hinder a side and see them struggle or galvanise them and bring them closer together as a unit and for the Gold Coast Titans, it has worked in a positive effect, as they defeated competition heavyweights the Sydney Roosters 30-22.
The win keeps the Titans finals hopes alive and it was described as their best ever in their short history by coach John Cartwright.
It was earlier in the week that the Titans had to seek a salary cap exemption from the NRL just to field enough players and with a colossal difference in the betting markets pre-game, it was the underdogs who came out on top.
“You only had to look at what the two sides were paying if you like a bet on your footy, it was a bit of a one-way street,” Cartwright said.
“We showed plenty of character and grit considering we had close to a full side sitting on the bench.
“It would be right up there (as one of the best) considering who we had out and they were full strength at their home ground and not a lot went out way.
“We had to get permission from the NRL for Jordan Atkins to play as we had spent our bottom tier. We have 19 healthy players in the club so there wasn’t much they could do.”
The road to the finals in the last round does not get any easier, with a daunting trip to AAMI Park against the Melbourne Storm, but Cartwright says his side have nothing to fear.
“Melbourne are still a great side but we have seen over the last few weeks that they are beatable,” he said.
“They were beaten last night and whether that is good or bad I don’t really know.
“But it does show that if you get on your own game and pressure the opposition anything can happen.”
It was a good feeling for Titans centre Brad Takairangi, who got one over his former side the Roosters, after he was forced out of the club due to their new signings.
Despite that, he says there is no malice or ill-feeling towards his former club.
“I left here on good terms and I still have a lot of friends here but it was definitely sweet to win against them,” Takairangi said.
“There was a big queue of players here and an option for me to cement my spot in an NRL team.
“It’s been a good move for me.
“It was just before the first trial so it happened pretty fast but I am very settled on the Gold Coast with my young family.”
There was one sour note from the game, with representative prop Nate Myles hearing a crack in his ankle as a result of a Sam Moa tackle that was put on report.
“He’ll have an MRI tomorrow, but it doesn’t look good,” Cartwright said.
With a crucial clash of their own next week against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, one that will decide the minor premiership, Roosters coach Trent Robinson knows his side have to improve. Fast.
“It hasn’t been good, hasn’t been up to standard. We’re about to find out how good we really are,” said Robinson.
3. Beau Falloon
2. Sam Moa
1. David Taylor