Myles: Pain will make Titans stronger
Twelve months ago another narrow loss at home would have brought their season undone but Titans captain Nate Myles believes the character in his club is strong enough now to use painful lessons to mount a late-season surge.
Having twice been denied at home by field goals against the Tigers and Sharks the Titans handed South Sydney a mountain of possession on a platter on Saturday night but with just a few minutes to play should have scored a try to level the scores.
Having charged onto a wonderful short ball from Aidan Sezer close to the line Lachlan Burr was a certainty to dive over and score to the right of the posts before a flying Alex Johnston dislodged the ball from his grasp.
Sitting in 14th position with just four wins as we approach the halfway point of the season, such heartbreak would break the spirit of many teams but Myles is insistent that the harsh lessons will make the Titans stronger.
"The question was asked as to whether these close losses are taking their toll, I think it's building a bit of character about us," said an upbeat Myles.
"I think our young halves and hookers are starting to recognise these situations now and it's turning into a bit of a positive.
"Although we didn't get a couple of calls tonight I thought we did enough to get the two points. I thought we were the better side and our execution and our halves and our young guys are learning from it. I think it's a positive."
Sezer came up with two potentially match-winning steals late in the game that gave the Titans rare territorial advantage and although they scored the final try of the night, couldn't find the critical second one.
His willingness to give James Roberts early ball in the first half saw Gold Coast take a 10-6 lead into half-time and coach Neil Henry said he and Kane Elgey are learning what it takes to close out games against the best teams.
"We've worked hard on closing out games, how we roll down the field for a field goal and what we can do to be a bit better at the back-end of games and we're learning to do that with a young halves pairing and a young hooker," Henry said.
"We've been close, we've been competitive but it hasn't given us points and the reality is we need to string some wins together and gather some momentum.
"I'd say the morale's pretty good for a side that's had some close losses I think we're determined to do better."
Completing at just 62 per cent against the Rabbitohs the Titans missed 40 tackles compared to South Sydney's 10 and Myles said that it is their execution under pressure that is proving to be their undoing.
"We know what works for us, it's just for some reason we're not smart enough to stick to it in pressure situations," he said.
"We'll learn from it and those losses, I've got no doubt we'll be better for."