Titans insist they belong at the top
Statisticians and commentators alike have been pointing at the numbers and questioning the Titans' right to take up residence at the top of the premiership table but coach John Cartwright insists he is only concerned with how many games his side wins.
Gold Coast's four-game winning streak came to an end on Monday night when they weren't able to replicate their Houdini efforts of the previous two weeks in going down to the Panthers 14-12 but they remain one of only four teams with five wins from the first seven weeks.
The Titans will be without in-form front-rower Matthew White for Sunday's clash with the Wests Tigers at Leichhardt Oval after the club accepted a two-game suspension for a Dangerous Throw in the 61st minute of the loss on Monday night.
Mark Ioane, who has been outstanding for Burleigh in the Intrust Super Cup, gets his chance on the bench in place of White while Luke Bailey (ankle) and William Zillman (hamstring) have been given extra time to get over their respective injuries.
Although the Titans are near the bottom of the competition in a host of statistical categories, Cartwright rejected the notion they were false competition leaders as has been suggested over the past seven days.
"We can't be bothered with what people say. There are a few people out there saying that but the bottom line is your win-loss ratio is where you're going to be judged and we'll be out there trying to win this week," Cartwright said upon the Titans' return to Coolangatta.
"If you look at all the sides over the weekend, the Souths, the Canterburys, the Panthers, it's just the way footy's being played at the moment. I haven't seen a side go out and put 40 on when two good sides play each other, it's just the way football is.
"We're all here reporting on the Gold Coast Titans because we watch them closely but there's no other team out there doing much different to what we're doing. We just happen to have been winning the games.
"When you look at averages you always take away your best and your worst performances and when you do that we're right up there with the very best sides so I'm not real worried about what people say.
"We've got things to fix up but the things that basically win you football games, they're doing very well."
Under the new rule changes and the subsequent increase in ruck speed very few sides have appeared fluent in attack in consecutive weeks and Gold Coast five-eighth Aidan Sezer said he must shoulder much of the burden for the Titans' misfiring offence.
"Our defence keeps us in the games and we've just got to get our attack right and that's something we've got to keep working on. The more games we can play together the better we'll play," Sezer told NRL.com.
"We're getting better in patches but I just think over a full 80 we've got to put in a more consistent performance. I've got to take on a bit of that responsibility myself and try to get our execution in attack a little bit better.
"The past two wins we've been turning up for each other and that's something you can't keep getting away with. You've got to actually beat teams and beat them convincingly.
"It's something we're trying to work on and hopefully we can turn it around against the Tigers in a big game at Leichhardt next Sunday.”