Has John Cartwright’s job ever been in jeopardy? The Gold Coast Titans mentor has been in charge of the club since its inception in 2007 and has seen plenty of players come and go. Yet Cartwright’s hold on the top job has never really been in doubt.
After two mediocre seasons, surely Cartwright is feeling the pressure heading into 2013.
But it is the extraordinary axing of inaugural skipper Scott Prince that has Gold Coast fans fuming. Seemingly without a replacement halfback at his disposal, Cartwright still released Prince to the Brisbane Broncos.
The Titans lacked imagination in 2012 even with Prince running the show. The burden of creating points was left to the little Queenslander. Despite fighting injury the majority of the time, Prince tried his heart out.
And how does Cartwright repay him?
“If I was a young halfback there wouldn’t be many packs I’d rather play behind than the pack we’re going to have,” Cartwright told AAP.
“That’s probably why I’m not so overly concerned with it.”
No matter what way Cartwright tries to spin it, Prince was still the best halfback at the club moving forward.
The Titans struggled to score points this season with Prince often playing a lone hand. Aidan Sezer and William Zillman tried their hardest, but it was Prince who kept the sinking ship afloat at the backend of the year.
“There’s Albert (Kelly), Aidan Sezer, Greg Bird, Jordan Rankin, Beau Henry and Matty Srama, there’s plenty of options there,” Cartwright said.
“Obviously we’ll go into the (pre-season) trials with an idea but things can change quickly so we won’t rush into it.”
Can any these men lead the Gold Coast to a premiership?
Cartwright’s ancient methods of recruitment have Titans fans staring down the barrel of yet another disappointing season.
Dave Taylor has joined the club from the South Sydney Rabbitohs and has begun pre-season training with his new team. This comes on the back of the arrival a year earlier of Nate Myles, Luke Douglas and Jamal Idris.
All big men with the intimidation factor that National Rugby League sides need. But where is the class and leadership coming from? Where is the guy that is going to steer these meatheads around?
Prince could still play behind this pack.
The Brisbane Broncos are laughing all the way to next season’s Finals series.
There was a game late in the year at Centrebet Stadium where Prince proved he still had plenty to offer an NRL club. In an impressive solo effort, Prince took on the Penrith defensive line and scored next to the posts. It was the Prince of old.
Better the devil you know than no devil at all.