Gold Coast Titans coach John Cartwright hopes his side embraces adversity in Friday night’s NRL clash with derby rivals Brisbane.
The odds are stacked against the Gold Coast Titans ahead of Friday night’s NRL clash with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
And it seems they wouldn’t have it any other way.
A Brisbane outfit (11th; 4-5 record) desperate to get on a pre-Origin roll had worries of their own after prized recruit Martin Kennedy was still not considered despite ex-Test forward Sam Thaiday (calf) being ruled out on Thursday.
But they haven’t got anything on the Titans.
Still shaking his head over Greg Bird’s two-game ban, Gold Coast coach John Cartwright was forced to also put a line through halfback Albert Kelly (hamstring) and flyer Kevin Gordon (knee, illness) after Thursday’s training.
They joined an injury list that already included ex-Queensland lock Ash Harrison (concussion).
Yet Cartwright said it would only make victory sweeter against their derby rivals.
“The ones you remember are the ones where your backs are to the wall,” he said.
“You don’t seem to remember the ones where everyone’s fit and firing and playing well.”
The only good news Gold Coast (3rd; 6-3 record) received this week was Bird earning a dangerous throw charge downgraded at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday night, cutting a potential six-game ban to just two.
Still, Broncos coach Anthony Griffin knew exactly what to expect from the depleted Titans.
“I don’t think it is going to affect them. It will probably inspire them more than anything, to lift for the occasion,” he said.
Brisbane are still smarting from their round six 12-8 loss to the Titans which they dominated, only for pivot Aidan Sezer to seal a last gasp Gold Coast win when he pickpocketed Broncos No.1 Ben Barba in the in-goal.
“We got away with it last time. Probably a little bit lucky in some regards,” Cartwright said.
“They’re coming off a loss as well so both sides have got a lot to play for.”
That match on April 11 was the last time Thaiday played for Brisbane.
Still his unavailability could not prompt Griffin to give underperforming ex-Rooster Kennedy the nod.
Instead he opted for Jarrod Wallace to pack down in the front row and recalled ex-Test prop Ben Hannant to the bench just one week after sensationally relegating him to the second-tier Queensland Cup.