Titans vow to face hard truths
Embarrassed Titans players have vowed to make amends for two inept performances in less than a week and have pleaded with fans to give them one more chance against the Broncos on Friday night.
Having conceded a combined 68 points, missed 79 tackles and made 28 errors in successive losses to two teams well outside the top eight, Gold Coast are staring down a second wooden spoon – having been in the top eight little more than a month ago.
Five-eighth Aidan Sezer is a chance to return from a hamstring injury but even his steadying hand and past heroics against Brisbane cannot make up for the lack of discipline and intensity on display against the Sea Eagles and Knights.
Fans of most teams can cop a loss when there is evidence of energy and effort but those qualities have been in short supply since the Titans came back from the bye to suffer their worst ever home defeat in Round 18 and then be kept try-less in Newcastle.
And with an assignment against the competition leaders with the greatest home-ground support in the NRL now just days away, Titans players have been forced to have some frank and open discussions about where it has gone so horribly wrong.
"After the game (the 30-2 loss to Newcastle on Saturday) we had a massive talk," said centre Nene Macdonald.
"Everyone's got to come out and tell what they expect from each other and if they're not fulfilling that then we need to make some changes or do something about it.
"It's more just the individual effort at the moment. Everyone's got to step up their game. It's been tough with a few injuries but we can't use that as an excuse anymore."
With 159 metres and 38 tackles against the Knights, prop forward Luke Douglas was one of very few Titans who could hold their heads up after Saturday and said honesty was integral if they hoped to turn things around.
"You've got to be honest. We've got to have the mentality of constructive criticism," said Douglas, one of only three Titans to have appeared in every game this season.
"We can tell each other what we did wrong and what we need to work on. We've got to take responsibility as individuals and make up for poor performances.
"We're all trying, just a few mistakes in defence and making wrong decisions and stuff. For [the fans], don't lose hope, we'll be giving our all. We haven't given up.
"We're going to be working hard all this week and then again on Friday night."
The Broncos were pushed late by the Titans before winning the previous encounter between the teams 26-16 in Round 5 and although current form would suggest a bloodbath on Friday night, Macdonald says Titans fans who make the trip north to cheer them on won't be disappointed.
"Stick by us at the moment and hopefully it all turns around," said the former Rooster who played in front of more than 35,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium in Round 6.
"We've got a good team, it's just a couple of bad losses. It's not anything major, we can always fix it and hopefully turn it around.
"It will be a real good game to come and watch if any of the fans want to come and support us; Friday night against the Broncos it will be an exciting match."