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Testing year has steeled Prince for Souths clash

Date

Laine Clark

Top form … Scott Prince in action last week.

Top form … Scott Prince in action last week. Photo: Anthony Johnson

STOPPING a runaway South Sydney sounds daunting, but it pales in comparison with what Gold Coast captain Scott Prince has overcome in the past year.

Steeled by a nightmarish 2011, Prince did not flinch when the Titans were tipped to add to last year's wooden spoon after they slumped to a 2-7 record this season.

And after helping them to 9-10 and back into top eight contention, Prince will not blink first when the in-form Rabbitohs line up in today's blockbuster at Skilled Park.

Prince, 32, has had to deal with family tragedies, broken bones and knee reconstructions in his 15-season career. But the wily halfback admits last year was one of his most testing.

Rumours of infighting, poor form and the Titans' well publicised financial plight - Prince endured it all. Now, with the Gold Coast moving forward under new chief executive David May, and expected to be debt free in weeks, Prince said the adversity had made him hungrier for success.

''Last year was probably the most testing 12 months I have had as a professional footballer on and off the field, but I am looking forward now,'' he said. ''I learned a lot about myself, my teammates and a few people around the club: who was on your side and who wasn't - that will never be forgotten. But now it is about getting a job done on the field, and we are confident that we can do it.''

Thanks to Prince's revitalised form, the Titans are flying high with three straight wins - and six in nine games. The chances of extending that run have been boosted by Queensland lock Ashley Harrison recovering from a toe injury.

By rights, the Titans should be the talk of the NRL. But five straight wins have ensured South Sydney are the flavour of the month - not that Prince is complaining. ''We are just worried about ourselves. We are pretty proud of what we have already achieved,'' Prince said. ''We held together, got ourselves out of a rut and put ourselves in contention for the top eight - now it is up to us to stay there.''

Asked to explain the secret to his form reversal, Prince said: ''I wanted to turn it all around and play September football. If we don't make the eight, I see it as an unsuccessful year.''

Meanwhile, Wigan swamped Hull 48-10 in the Super League on Friday to go five points clear at the top of the ladder to the delight of coach Shaun Wane.

Goal-kicking winger Josh Charnley bagged 24 points to become the league's leading scorer. Halfback Sam Powell - deputising for the injured Brett Finch - landed the last of his side's nine tries. ''There were times when we could have attacked a bit better and our defence was a bit sloppy in the first half but, overall, I'm very happy with the performance,'' Wane said.

AAP, AFP

Four Nations 2014

Round 1
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
ENG 32 vs SAM 26 Stats
AUS 12 vs NEWZ 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 14 vs SAM 12 Report Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 16 vs ENG 12 Report Stats
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Round 3
Sat, 08 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 16 vs ENG 14 Report Stats
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
AUS 44 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
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Final
Sat, 15 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEWZ 22 vs AUS 18 Report Stats
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Four Nations 2014
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 3 3 0 0 22 6
Australia 3 2 1 0 12 4
England 3 1 2 0 0 2
Samoa 3 0 3 0 -34 0
View all
 
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