Titans coach John Cartwright has admitted he felt sorry for Gold Coast fans who had to sit through 44-degree heat and a devastating loss by their team. Copyright: Col Whelan / NRL Photos. Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
The coach pitied the 12,000 fans who turned out to watch and the co-captain laid blame at his own feet but both John Cartwright and Greg Bird are adamant the Titans can bounce back from a horror showing against the Tigers.
After conceding the opening two tries inside 10 minutes the Titans clawed their way back to 10-6 at the half-hour mark but two further tries before half-time and a litany of Gold Coast errors killed the game off as a contest, the visitors running out 42-12 victors for their first win of the year.
Despite the extreme heat and a virus that affected the team during the week and prevented Mark Minichiello from taking his place in the side, Cartwright was at a loss to explain such a poor display but won't shy away from dissecting where it all went wrong.
"You've got to address it, you've got to face it. I did feel for the people that stayed until the end there and watched it, it was ugly," Cartwright said in the immediate aftermath.
"You've got to put that to one side. It was uncharacteristic for the group and we've just got to sweep it aside. We'll deal with it tomorrow and then from Tuesday we've just got to look forward to Canberra [next Sunday].
"I'm not going to make any excuses, it was a bad display by the team and I can't paint any other picture. We were poor and made a lot of errors and suffered defensively because of it."
The Titans made 18 errors and missed 32 tackles (compared to just seven for the Tigers) and Bird lay the blame squarely at individuals failing to play within the structure of the team.
Throughout the 80 minutes the Titans seemed directionless and working from 13 different game-plans but Bird believes it can be rectified by answering up to some hard truths.
"Usually when we get behind we get together and work our way out of it as a team but I think everyone got a bit individual out there and tried to do it on their own and then all the individuals pretty much were making individual errors," said Bird, who is hopeful that a shoulder injury was not as serious as first feared.
"Dropped balls, missed tackles and we weren't working as a group and I think it showed.
"Like John said, we've got to address everything that we did wrong, we can't just brush it off like it didn't happen. A lot of individuals need to improve on their performances out there, and I'm probably one of them in defence.
"The good thing about rugby league and this early in the season, we can make amends quite quickly next week."