The outgoing coach said rugby league risks being overrun by AFL if the NRL don’t act quickly to stave off the threat.
Outgoing Titans foundation coach John Cartwright has warned the NRL it is losing the battle to the AFL as the two codes fight for supremacy on the Gold Coast.
In his final press conference as coach following their loss to the Roosters on Monday night, Cartwright pleaded with the NRL to do all it could to prevent the AFL juggernaut from taking over the Gold Coast.
“It’s not the immediate two, three years I am worried about…it’s the next generations of kids that would be playing rugby league,” he said.
“Their parents played rugby league, their family all played rugby league, but they’re being sold AFL on a huge scale.
“You’ve got to live up there to realise what it’s like. We’re fighting a lot of things up there but I just hope rugby league prospers.
“Our players go out and do the job of promoting of our game but it shouldn’t be left up to them.
“It’s a battle. There are no two ways about it. We’re putting our heads in the sand if we think anything else.
“I’ve lived on the Gold Coast for eight years, I just think it’s so important for rugby league to be strong there. They can’t do it on their own, they need some help.”
The AFL has thrown large sums of money at the Gold Coast Suns, including bringing in arguably the league’s best player in Gary Ablett.
The Titans’ crowds have dropped considerably over the past few years and this will be the fourth year in a row they miss the NRL finals.