Consistency key for inexperienced Titans
The Titans led with just five minutes to go in the first half against Melbourne on Sunday night, but two tries in three minutes from the Storm marked the beginning of the end for the visitors.
Gold Coast had impressive periods of play but were also poor at times, and coach Neil Henry knows consistency across the 80 minutes will be important for his side when it comes to competing well each week.
"We were very good in patches, and we were very poor in patches," Henry said.
"So until we address that and become a more consistent team, we're going to be rocks and diamonds a little bit with how we play."
Henry was disappointed to give up the lead heading into the main break, and said all of his side's hard work in the opening half an hour was quickly undone.
"There's a lot of work that had gone into that 30 minutes to say 'we're going OK, we're in a battle here', and then suddenly within six minutes it's gone, that was disappointing," he said.
Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith was able to execute an important 40/20 after the Storm scored through Blake Green four minutes before half-time, and Smith's kick was able to see Will Chambers cross and give the Storm an eight-point lead at the half.
Henry said defending 40/20 kicks was part of the Titans' game plan, and to be beaten by one at such a crucial point of the game was unforgivable.
"There's a bit of game plan stuff around 40/20's and making sure they don’t happen and giving yourself time to get back and cover that ball, and we didn’t and it resulted in some points," the coach said.
"We've got to be able to one, stop that and two, defend it, and we weren't able to do that.
"The game was still within reach, but we needed to not make a few errors… and it just didn't happen. I suppose it's a lesson in being consistent, and the Storm are one of the more consistent sides in the competition and they have been for a long time."
Given that the Titans performed much better last week than they did against the Storm on Sunday night, captain Nathan Friend was asked if he believed his side was capable of being more consistent.
"For sure, but we've got plenty to work on. We played quite well last week, our ball control and yardage was great, and tonight it was the complete opposite," Friend said.
"Against a quality team, that's what happens, you're chasing tail. We certainly just have to get back to basics, and if we do spill the ball, we just need to get ready to defend a couple of sets, and not give in so easy."