Douglas streak could be over
Luke Douglas's new record for the most consecutive games played in the NRL could come to an end with the Titans prop having x-rays on Tuesday afternoon for a possible broken thumb incurred early in his history-making game against the Sharks.
With media attention focused on him unlike at any other stage of his career, Douglas broke Jason Taylor's long-standing record of 194 games when he ran out for the Titans on Monday night yet he may not get the opportunity to add further to it.
"I saw him just before he came off after his first stint, I saw him come out of a tackle and shake it a few times and he got back into the fray and I never really thought too much of it," Cartwright explained. "It was pretty sore after the game.
"It's a little bit ironic isn't it but typical of Luke he didn't let on about it. The doctor knew and he told us about it after the game. We'll see how the x-ray goes but if there is anything wrong... Sometimes they just have to operate if it's a bad break but we're not looking that far down the track. He's getting a precautionary x-ray and we'll worry about it then."
If Douglas does happen to be ruled out it will be only a minor headache for Cartwright who has Ryan James ready to come back into the fold from a shoulder injury in the trials.
James travelled with the squad to Cronulla as 18th man and although he wasn't given the all clear to face the Sharks, Cartwright is confident he will be available for selection to play the Tigers at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday.
"If we had of lost someone in the warm up or through illness we would have used [James] but he wasn't 100 per cent and I don't want him going into the season with a shoulder complaint until it is 100 per cent," Cartwright said.
"He'll get some full contact in this week. He's pretty much doing everything at training now so I'm pretty confident he'll be available this week."
While the attack looked stilted at times during their 18-12 win over Cronulla, Cartwright was full of praise for the character the side showed in defence and believes it is the foundation on which to build a strong start to the season.
"I've never seen the perfect game of footy, but defensively, if you can keep making it hard for the opposition to score that gives you a good chance to win the game," he said.
"You can always keep working on when we have the ball in hand but that defensive stuff is attitude and while ever we can maintain that we're going to be hard to beat."