Carty's plan: Stop offloads at all costs
Gold Coast coach John Cartwright has instructed his players to stop the Eels from offloading at all costs in a desperate bid to shut down Jarryd Hayne in tonight’s semi-final replay at Skilled Park.<br><br>Parramatta ended the Titans’ premiership dreams in devastating fashion last season – winning 27-2 in front of a raucous Sydney Football Stadium crowd – and Cartwright is determined to avoid a repeat with another top-eight finish looming.<br><br>But while many have written the Eels off following last week’s thrashing at the hands of Sydney Roosters, the Titans’ coach said his side couldn’t afford to give Hayne another chance to kickstart a blue-and-gold charge this time around.<br><br>“Jarryd Hayne is a big part of their game and it is their offloads that bring him into the game,” Cartwright said.<br><br>“He certainly presents a danger whenever he is around the ball so that’s a key for us – to limit their offloads and limit where he gets the ball.<br><br>“But you’ve got to get your own part of the game right to do that, so our focus this week has been on doing what we need to do to take him out of the game.”<br><br>However, asked if it was possible to completely nullify Hayne’s influence, Cartwright admitted “Probably not… You’ve just got to limit his chances the best way you can. <br><br>“You’ve just got to get your own part of the game right – but the less times Jarryd Hayne gets the ball, the less chances he gets to have a crack at you.”<br><br>While Titans players have been quick to downplay any talk of revenge this week, Cartwright said that he hoped they hadn’t forgotten their exit from the finals at the hands of the Eels 12 months ago.<br><br>Having finished the regular season in third spot, the Titans fell 40-32 to Brisbane in Week One before failing to cross the tryline a week later as Parramatta ran riot.<br><br>“It certainly hurt us,” Cartwright admits. “We haven’t brought it up at all this week but I would think it is in the back of the players’ minds.<br><br>“This is a huge game for both sides and it would be nice to be able to walk off knowing where we sit on the competition table after a Friday night.<br><br>“It’ a big game for both sides, for different reasons. Depending on the result, we could be back in the pack with Parramatta back in it, or we could get ourselves ahead of the pack.”<br><br>The Titans appear to be finding their feet again after a mid-season slump with impressive wins over St George Illawarra and the Warriors over the past two weeks and have been bolstered by the return from injury of Harrison, who has been sidelined since State of Origin with a knee injury.<br><br>But Cartwright said it was time the side stepped up another level with the finals now only five weeks away.<br><br>“You can’t rest on what you’ve done in the past few weeks,” he said. “One loss puts you back in the mire.<br><br>“We have to pick up the effort from those games.”<br><b><br>Late NRL news:</b><br>• Parramatta has been dealt a blow ahead of tonight’s clash with centre Timana Tahu ruled out with an ankle injury. Jonathon Wright will come into the side.<br><br>• The Tigers are sweating on the fitness of fullback Wade McKinnon, who has missed the past two weeks with an ankle injury, ahead of tomorrow night’s clash with South Sydney. He will undergo a fitness test today.<br><br>• Michael Robertson has been shifted to fullback for tomorrow’s big clash with Melbourne after Ben Farrar was ruled out with a knee injury. William Hopoate is likely to come in on the wing.