Embarrassed Titans vow to make amends
Titans players have vowed to release the pressure valve building up around coach Neil Henry and simultaneously end St George Illawarra's premiership campaign by breaking a three-match losing streak at UOW Jubilee Oval on Saturday.
They may have to defeat the Dragons without star halfback Ashley Taylor who was unable to train on Wednesday with a knee injury that he picked up in the loss to the Broncos but Kevin Proctor is on track to return from the hamstring injury that has kept him out for the last two games.
The dismal performance that saw the Broncos score 54 unanswered points at Cbus Super Stadium last weekend raised all sorts of questions not only regarding the playing group but Henry's tenure and the impact on potential buyers of the Titans.
For all the progress the 2016 squad made by qualifying for the finals for the first time in six years the injury-ravaged 2017 team has failed to play with any consistency, twice stringing together three-game winning streaks but winning just one game outside of that.
Relegated to the role of spoilers for the final month of the regular season, winger Anthony Don said that the team must not only put in a much improved showing for their coach but the entire Gold Coast region.
"We just owe the fans a good performance," Don said.
"Our members and fans turn up week in week out and all our sponsors show up so to put in a performance in like that is quite embarrassing.
"We owe it to everyone that even takes a small interest in us to put on a good performance. We get the chance this weekend so hopefully we can do it then.
"I promise them a better performance and that everyone's going to turn up and hopefully we can get the win."
As for any pressure on Henry to keep his position, Don said that the players must step forward and accept the responsibility for how they have performed the past fortnight, and in particular the record loss to the Broncos.
"He wasn't out on the field on the weekend, it was all the playing group out there that let all the tries in that didn't turn up. It's entirely on the playing group," said Don.
"There's enough pressure internally from within the playing staff let alone all the external stuff from the media.
"We've just got to talk about the desire to compete. We just weren't in the contest at all on the weekend. We've all got to aim up and get a bit more aggressive with our defence and get it right in attack."
Five-eighth Kane Elgey also spoke out in defence of Henry and is confident the players will respond over the closing four weeks and salvage something from what has been a wretched season.
"Three weeks ago we were in finals contention and then lose to the Tigers and then a 54-0 loss, that's probably one of the biggest losses we've had for a while," Elgey said.
"It's amazing, it's a roller-coaster, but the next four games should be good.
"It's been a hectic week but we're the ones on the field so we should come out this week especially and come out with a good win.
"These last four weeks we owe it to the fans and the coaching staff and the club in general, especially when they're trying to sell it as well.
"We were close to the eight but then the Tigers loss and now the Broncos, it's not the way we wanted to finish but we can change it around and win the last four games and at least there's hope for next year."