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It's not just me and JT, says Prince after big win

Date

Steve Mascord

Gold Coast 28 North Queensland 12

Agony ... James Segeyaro’s ankle injury in the first half.

Agony ... James Segeyaro’s ankle injury in the first half. Photo: Getty Images

GOLD COAST captain Scott Prince late last night stressed the game against North Queensland earlier in the evening had not been a tennis match between himself and Johnathan Thurston.

MATCH STATS

But at the risk of labouring an obvious metaphor, the "love" between the two long-time selection rivals would have been represented by Prince's straight-sets victory if it had been.

Brent Tate of the Cowboys fends off Beau Champion of the Titans.

Brent Tate of the Cowboys fends off Beau Champion of the Titans. Photo: Getty Images

After an abysmal start to the season, Gold Coast have now strung together three consecutive victories to lift the hopes of the NRL's most beleagured fans that something can yet be salvaged from 2012.

Last night their 28-12 success came in the most dramatic fashion - the Titans kicked the ball out on the full from the start of the contest and found themselves without the ball for almost a quarter of an hour.

There were four line dropouts in the first seven minutes - and another not long afterwards - and the tackle count at one stage was 73-10 in "favour" of Gold Coast.

Yet they led the NRL's top first-half scoring team 12-0 at the break and finished with five tries to complement wins over Canterbury and Wests Tigers. The game was marred by injuries to North Queensland hooker James Segeyaro (ankle) and Gold Coast prop Luke Bailey, who, according to commentator Paul Vautin, reported ribs loose in his abdomen.

"We sat here after a fair few losses early and people were pretty quick to say our season was over," said coach John Cartwright, when asked to explain his side's remarkable turnaround.

"The playing group didn't believe it. It's sometimes tough to stay positive, but they have."

Prince had recaptured the spark of his glory days, particularly when he bamboozled the defence in setting up Greg Bird's first-half score. Cartwright said Bird was in career-best form and Prince was back to enjoying himself.

"It's always good to play the best and JT's certainly one of those, but it's not a tennis match out there where it's just me and him out there on the court,'' he said.

"JT's smacked my bum a few times so I'll take them when I can. There's outside pressures but we knew if we worked hard enough, things would have to change.

"It's important for us that we've got some confidence and self-belief in the team to just enjoy it … there were some dark days, but we've moved on."

According to North Queensland prop Matt Scott, the Cowboys are "off the money" at the moment.

Referring to seven line-dropouts by the Titans, Scott said: "We're normally pretty good at converting that possession.

"It just showed we're off the money a bit at the moment. Execution just wasn't right and they took a lot of confidence out of defending a couple of sets on their line. The last two games, we've been pretty poor. There's really no excuse for it."

Coach Neil Henry - who reckoned 'we weren't really in the game' - says fatigue is at least a factor. "We're one of the last teams to get a bye," he said.

For the Cowboys, replacement Cory Paterson's try was nothing more than a consolation score and it was proved as such when Beau Champion flashed over again for the Titans with six to go.

Jason Taumalolo scored another consolation try, converted by Thurston, on the bell.

Prince declined to speculate about the chances of the Titans making the finals while Henry admitted his men were looking forward to a break next week.

The crowd of 12,092 was kept down by the rain but after positive off-field news regarding a deal with the Titans creditors, Cartwright was confident fans would get back on board in the weeks ahead.

After showing so much promise at times this year, the Cowboys have hit a mini-hole with two consecutive losses. The Titans have been in a hole for almost as long as they can remember - last night's was only their second win in their last 14 starts at Skilled Park.

GOLD COAST 28 (B Champion 2 K Gordon G Bird A Harrison tries S Prince 4 goals) bt NORTH QUEENSLAND 12 (C Paterson J Taumalalolo tries J Thurston 2 goals) at Skilled Park. Referees: S Hayne/A Shortall. Crowd: 12,092

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
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Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
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PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
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CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
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GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
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WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
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CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
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Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
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Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8 vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36 vs WST 4 Stats
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CBR 56 vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16 vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23 vs CBY 16 Stats
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MAN 30 vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10 vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16 vs STG 10 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10 vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31 vs BRI 20 Stats
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PAR 13 vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22 vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16 vs SOU 12 Stats
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STG 32 vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs WST 12 Stats
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MAN 10 vs PEN 11 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
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WST vs NQL 8 Stats
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CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
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NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
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Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
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GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
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SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
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Round 13
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NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
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Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
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Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
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GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
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Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
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NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
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SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
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CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
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Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
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MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
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WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
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Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
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PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
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CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
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GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
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Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
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NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
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Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
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NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
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CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
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NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
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Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
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NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
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Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
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MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
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Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
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CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
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Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
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Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
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SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
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WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
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Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
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