Brimson providing welcomed headache for Brennan
After just two games at fullback for the Gold Coast, 19-year-old AJ Brimson is putting pressure on veteran No.1 Michael Gordon and Titans coach Garth Brennan is loving it.
"It's nice to have. We've probably lacked that over the last 12 months or so – depth," Brennan said after the Titans savaged the Sea Eagles 42-34 at Lottoland on Friday night.
"Michael Gordon has been one of our best players all year. He's Mr. Reliable, 'Flash'.
"One door opens and it's another opportunity. I've said publicly that I think AJ's future going forward is probably at fullback. The only thing concerning me about throwing him in so early was understanding defensive structures and getting the numbering [in defence] right.
"That probably hurt us a little in the first half ... our numbering was poor at certain times," Brennan said of the opening 20 minutes when the Titans found themselves down 22-6.
They copped a spray in the sheds at halftime and came out and scored five second-half tries.
Brimson scored two tries and made four tackle-breaks in a superb display.
"My plan is to give him a good pre-season, training up at fullback, working with 'Flash', getting him confident in the defensive side of things. You can see in attack there's no issue there," Brennan said.
"Fullback is such an art these days defensively. He'll get better with that.
"One thing about 'Flash' is that he can play wing; he can play centre; so he's got versatility there same as AJ."
Gordon is currently nursing a wrist injury, that needed surgery to repair.
Brennan said with two rounds remaining, Gordon, who is on contract until the end of 2019, might not play again this year.
"Probably unlikely. I don't want to rush him ... and I'm not going to risk him," the coach said.
"Unless he's right, AJ is doing a good job – it's a bit of throwing him in now, having a look at him, and then getting him ready for next year.
"He's a special kid. I've stopped being surprised by what AJ dishes up. He's such a competitor and that's what you want in your football team – 17 competitors wanting to bust their butt and put their body on the line."
That was the Titan's fourth away win. They have also won four at home.
But eight wins doesn't get a team into the NRL finals, never mind being so hot and cold with results like the Titans have been this year.
"That's why we're not playing semi-finals football, isn't it? That's the cold, hard facts of it," Brennan said.
"You're not going to play semi-finals football when you're as inconsistent as that ... don't worry about week to week – we're talking about minute to minute with us at the moment.
"It will come from getting to know each other better, trust each other, working harder. We're on a path and we've got to stick to it."