VIDEO: Panthers end Titans season
Sun, 26 Aug 2012 9:24a.m.
By Ian McCullough
Gold Coast coach John Cartwright conceded the Titans' NRL season was over after his side slumped to a 36-22 defeat to Penrith on Saturday.
The Titans, who went into the game needing to win to stay in the race for a place in the top eight, trailed by just two points midway through the second half but three quick-fire tries from the hosts ended any chance of victory at Centrebet Stadium.
Premiers Manly will visit Skilled Park next week but, with results needing to go in their favour elsewhere, Cartwright admits there's too much to do.
The disappointed coach said his side's late-season flourish, in which they won four of their past six matches coming into the game, arrived too late.
"That'll end the finals' dream," Cartwright said.
"I'm really disappointed. We had everything to play for, the preparation was good - we've got no excuses. Maybe we ran out of petrol."
The Titans have done well to give themselves a chance to feature in the finals following a desperate start to the season when they lost six of their first eight matches.
They have also been dogged by speculation the cash-strapped club would go out of business and Cartwright admits the uncertainty has taken its toll on the players.
"It was a tough start. I'm proud to get into this position," he said.
"After eight or nine games, it looked like we weren't going to trouble anybody.
"But the season goes for 26 weeks - it doesn't go for 16 or 17. We were good for those 16 or 17 but not up to the mark early."
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