'No one wants to start a season 0-4'
Titans forward Luke Douglas concedes that the spectre of going the first month of the 2015 winless will be weighing on the minds of players and coaches from both teams ahead of their meeting with the Sharks on Saturday night.
Both the Titans and Sharks have suffered two narrow losses at home in the opening three weeks of the season yet are staring down the barrel of being the sole team rooted to the foot of the ladder by the end of the weekend.
All told the Sharks and Titans have accumulated just three wins between them since Round 18 last season and Douglas said it is impossible to keep the thought of dropping a fourth game to start the season from your mind.
"That's what's going through my head and I reckon it's going through guys in our team and their team and the coaches minds too," Douglas told NRL.com.
"No coach wants to go into a season 0-4 so their coach will be into their men as 'King' (Titans coach Neil Henry) is into all our men.
"I hope the boys take some confidence out of [two narrow losses at home] but at the end of the day we're still on zero points and yet to win a game. We've got to be absolutely right and putting our body on the line."
With 146 consecutive games for the Sharks and strong family ties to the club, Douglas always looks forward to a return to Remondis Stadium.
This particular game will represent his first back in the Shire since serving a suspension for being involved in the Sharks' supplements program in 2011 that saw 10 players accept back-dated suspensions and put an end to Douglas's premiership record of 215 consecutive games.
While some members of the Douglas family felt bitter to the club for what had transpired – "My aunty used to go running in a Sharks hat but she made me get her a Titans one" – Douglas comforted himself with the support he received from family and friends.
"First of all, once I did make the decision [to accept the suspension] I was angry and upset," Douglas said.
"It was the first time when I went back home [to Yamba] – I'm pretty proud – it was the first time I'd hid indoors and didn't want to go out and mingle and see anyone.
"Once I got over that you realise that all the people that are important to you and mean something they know what you're about.
"Family and friends and all that, what they think, that's what mattered to me.
"Now that the pressure of the continuous games is over I can rip in each week."
The revelations regarding the ASADA investigation into the use of drugs in sport hung over Cronulla's start to both the 2013 and 2014 seasons, seasons that began with home games against the Titans.
Given the events over the past three months on the Gold Coast both teams are desperate to finally have something to smile about, adding further weight to their Round 4 clash.
"I remember going there the last two years and it's been this thing where everyone's against them and they're coming out to let their football do the talking and try and put everything to bed," said the 28-year-old.
"Now this year, we're in the same position as them. We've had three losses and they've had three losses so there's always that extra motivation.
"No one wants to go into a season with the first four losses next to their names so it's that added motivation so I'm guessing it's going to be very physical and the crowd's going to be very vocal I'm sure."