Bryce Cartwright with the ball in hand but it's his defence which is attracting criticism. (AAP Image/Michael Chambers) N
Bryce Cartwright with the ball in hand but it's his defence which is attracting criticism. (AAP Image/Michael Chambers) N

Titans star cops spray after "letting coach down"

PREMIERSHIP winning Sharks hooker Michael Ennis has ripped into Gold Coast Titans five-eighth Bryce Cartwright in a stunning spray.

Speaking on Fox Sports' Big League Wrap, the former NRL star lashed the 23-year-old for his lacklustre performance throughout the first nine weeks of the season - particularly in the Gold Coast's 32-18 loss to the Canberra Raiders at the weekend.

Ennis said Cartwright, whose poor defence was highlighted in the 44 missed tackles from the Titans on Saturday, left serious question marks over his head regarding his place in the league.

"Cartwright, boy oh boy is he struggling," Ennis said.

"They removed Kane Elgey because of his defence. He needed to go back (to Queensland Cup) and work on some areas of his game, but Garth Brennan was specific in saying it was about his defence.

"Well Bryce Cartwright's defence is atrocious. I can't say it in any other manner."

Ennis continued, claiming Cartwright just didn't want to put in the hard yards for the league's youngest team.

 

Bryce Cartwright is a much-maligned star signing. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Bryce Cartwright is a much-maligned star signing. Picture: Zak Simmonds

"The Raiders targeted the left edge of the of the Titans and he missed tackle after tackle," Ennis said.

"He doesn't want to get down and dirty at all. He lacks any sort of aggression in his game.

"When I think of backrowers who have gone and played five-eighth, I think of Greg Bird, Shaun Timmins, I think of Wade Graham from time to time. They play tough, they roll up their sleeves, they run the football with intent.

"(Raiders five-eighth) Blake Austin led the way at times, and Bryce Cartwright's giving him 20 kilos."

Ennis said the embattled star needed to seriously prove his worth as a playmaker to prove his worth both as a player on the Titans' roster and in the NRL.

"He's let his coach down. There's no two ways about it," he said.

"He's given him a lifeline and he's taking the p*** up there, Bryce. No two ways about it.

"He needs to show that he wants to be an NRL player, he's nowhere near NRL standard."