Titans given three weeks to save season
Titans coach Neil Henry has given his team three weeks to salvage something from their 2015 season as the club begins to come to terms with the fact that they will be without the services of Daly Cherry-Evans next year.
A team that has become accustomed to preparing for games amid off-field distractions this season, the Titans enter Friday night's clash at Leichhardt Oval level with the Wests Tigers on 10 competition points but in danger of losing touch with the top eight.
Following their showdown with the Tigers the Titans host the Bulldogs and Warriors at home at Cbus Super Stadium and need to win at least two of these three games in order to remain in finals contention.
Still smarting from their 19-18 loss to the Tigers in Round 1, Henry said the next three weeks are critical to their season and it starts on Friday night.
"This is a very important game," said Henry ahead of the team's final training session. "Wests Tigers need to win as well, there's a lot of congestion around that bottom eight and we've got an opportunity to come back to a couple of home games.
"I suppose this next three-week period is very crucial.
"Round 1 was a case in point [in regards to their composure] where we turned the ball over, Robbie Farah took control of the set and Pat Richards knocked a field goal over and that was the game.
"We need to learn from that and hopefully we'll be able to win a tight one."
On the back of three consecutive losses captain Nate Myles insists the team's position is even more precarious than that, declaring every game a 'must-win' between now and the end of the season.
Since 2009 the team that has finished eighth after 26 rounds has won 12 games and with four wins in their first 11 games, the Titans are facing the prospect of having to win at least eight of their last 13 games to be any hope.
In his fourth and final year on the Gold Coast, Myles is yet to play finals football since joining the Titans and says getting the better of the Tigers is critical to any hopes they have of achieving that this season.
"We need to win every game. We're not on the right side of the scoresheet at the moment," said Myles of his team who have lost three games by two points or less this season.
"We need to start winning and building otherwise our run's going to be too late. I think any more losses are going to hurt us too much.
"I do believe we should have won that game [in Round 1] and probably through lack of experience we didn't convert to get the two points.
"Even without Robbie [Farah] they're still a dangerous side; they've got a fantastic fullback, their halves are going good and we need to make sure we're physical through the middle.
"Marty [Taupau] and 'Woodsy' [Aaron Woods] coming through the middle are always going to be difficult so we look forward to the challenge."
Teammates with the Kangaroos last month and Origin opponents little more than a week ago, Myles and Woods meet again on Friday as opposing captains, the first time the 24-year-old front-rower has been sole captain of the Tigers.
Rather than impacting his work in the middle where he averages more than 200 metres and 32 tackles per game, Myles has predicted that the captaincy will inspire Woods to reach for even greater heights.
"I think it will bring a lot more out of him; probably try and stop him getting 300 metres now," Myles joked.
"He's doing some really good things down there and his form has warranted where he has been selected. He's playing for Australia now and probably one of the first picked in the New South Wales team so [the captaincy] is fantastic for him.
"His size is pretty impressive, the way he can keep moving forward and marching down the field. He's always in the high hundreds and near 200 metres most weekends, he's a fantastic worker and a competitor.
"They always grow another leg [at Leichhardt] and even without Robbie they're still a fantastic side and we need to be careful."