WORKLOAD: Bryce Cartwright has switched from Panthers colours to Gold Coast blue and will be called on to handle more defensive work.
WORKLOAD: Bryce Cartwright has switched from Panthers colours to Gold Coast blue and will be called on to handle more defensive work. PAUL MILLER

Coach wants tackles, not tricks, from Cartwright

GOLD Coast coach Garth Brennan has assured gun recruit Bryce Cartwright he doesn't need to see "Harlem Globetrotters football” to be happy with his efforts when the Titans' NRL season begins on Sunday.

The star recruit's arrival on the Gold Coast from Penrith has been tempered by his average pre-season form and few signs of the second-phase threat the forward was tipped to bring.

But rookie NRL coach Brennan said he'd rather see a competent defensive effort than any flashy offensive play from Cartwright when his new-look team clash with Canberra.

"He got criticised in the last couple of weeks for his performance but I was pretty happy,” Brennan said of Cartwright's pre-season.

"He doesn't have to come out and do the Harlem Globetrotters football that Bryce can play.”

The 23-year-old was a late arrival on the Gold Coast and is likely to play in a more central role than he was accustomed to at the Panthers, copping more of a defensive workload as a result.

But Brennan thinks Cartwright's defence, one of few question marks around his game, is up to the task and that his new role will take some pressure of his offensive expectations.

"He managed to have the ball in his hands more (in last weekend's trial against New Zealand Warriors), which means when he does get it he doesn't feel like he has to do something,” Brennan said.

The defensive display of his new-look team will be Brennan's priority during his NRL coaching infancy.

"A lot has been said about the Gold Coast, it's now time to walk the walk,” he said.

AAP


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