General Titans lose another key man

Skinny_Ravs82

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Gold Coast's hopes of cementing a top-four spot have been dealt a further blow with a shoulder injury forcing Kiwi international Jake Webster to withdraw from Saturday night's NRL clash with the Warriors at Carrara.
The Titans, already missing inspirational prop Luke Bailey (NSW Origin camp) and workaholic back-rower Anthony Laffranchi (knee) must cope with losing another key player as they chase a fifth consecutive victory.
Coach John Cartwright said it was likely Smith Samau would replace winger Webster, who jarred the AC joint in his left shoulder against Newcastle last weekend.
Samau is on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury but trained strongly on Friday.
The Warriors will be missing Queensland Origin prop Steve Price but warhorse Ruben Wiki returns from a rib injury to add some grunt to a massive forward pack.
"We have to match them in the forwards," Cartwright said.
"They've got a very big pack and we've lost a bit of our oomph with Bailey and Laffranchi not being there.
"We have got the backs to beat anyone but our forwards will have to keep doing the job for us so that our backs can capitalise."
Cartwright told reporters he didn't need to emphasise to his forwards they needed to lift their workrate in the absence of Bailey and Laffranchi.
"They realise more than anyone the loss those two guys are and it's a big opportunity for a couple of them to show that they are senior players and they can do the job when called on," he said.
"Guys like Michael Hodgson and Luke Swain, they're verging on 100 first-grade games.
"They work really hard and tomorrow is their chance to shine."
The 2006 national census showed that Kiwis make up more than seven per cent of the Gold Coast's population so the home crowd factor might not be as strong for the Titans tomorrow.
The Warriors will be hoping for plenty of support as they have a horrible 2-6 away record while the Titans have lost just one out of six games at Carrara this season.
"I know the ticket sales have been huge from way back so obviously there's a lot of Kiwis on the (Gold) Coast," Cartwright said.
"Hopefully a lot of them will support us. It'll be a good atmosphere."
Coming off a 54-14 thumping of Penrith, the Warriors are searching for a third straight win.
"Penrith played them back into form last week I thought," Cartwright said.
"It's back to the Warriors of old. They're going to be a handful."
Cartwright said a key to beating the Warriors was stopping their forwards from off-loading to create second-phase play for dangerous support men such as fullback Wade McKinnon.
"They've got a big, mobile pack of forwards and they like to keep the ball moving," he pointed out.
"It's up to our boys to slow them down."
 

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