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Less panic, more poise required for desperate Titans

Winger Dale Copley says Titans players must be more individually accountable for the lapses that are costing them crucial premiership points as they face a must-win game against the Bulldogs at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

With just two wins apiece this season only for-and-against separates the Titans from the bottom-placed Bulldogs, the loser on Saturday almost certainly falling out of finals calculations well before the halfway point of the season.

For the third week in succession the Titans let a win slip through their fingers, prompting coach Garth Brennan to label them "dumb" and "mentally soft" when the game is on the line.

Against the Wests Tigers they blew a 14-0 lead to lose 30-14, fought back to draw within two points of the Cowboys before losing 28-14 and last Thursday self-destructed as an injury-ravaged Cronulla came back from an 18-10 deficit at half-time to win 26-18.

With captain Ryan James out with a season-ending knee injury, on-field leadership is a major issue for the Titans but Copley said it was up to each player to respond better when the game is running against them.

Match Highlights: Titans v Sharks

"It's all coming from everywhere at different points in the game. As a whole collective 17 we haven't been great so far at recognising when we need to simplify things and go back to what was working," Copley said.

"In patches of games we have shown that we can play some really good footy, we can score points and defend really well. But then in patches we'd be struggling to play against Queensland Cup teams, in reality.

"When the pressure gets applied to us we panic way too much. We try and come up with a big play instead of sticking with what was working.

"The whole 17 needs to realise when we are on the back foot and need to simplify things and then we'll get back into the swing of things and things will turn for us."

In what is likely his final season in the NRL, Gold Coast veteran Michael Gordon said the good teams are able to display resilience when momentum is with the other opposition, a quality the Titans have rarely displayed in recent years.

"Momentum swings back and forth all game and it's when things aren't going right that you've got to hang in there, hang in there, hang in there and then something happens," said Gordon, who has played finals football with the Panthers, Sharks and Roosters.

"They might make an error or you'll get a penalty. It's being able to hang in when you feel like all you're doing is coming off your line defending.

Every try from Round 9

"If you can keep turning them away that seems to click something and something good happens. But it's being able to hang in there better, that's the main thing.

"One thing goes wrong and we seem to kick stones for too long. We lose that arm wrestle and then we seem to implode for five or 10 minutes and it's those periods that are costing us on the scoreboard."

After copping a head knock and lasting just 11 minutes against the Sharks, prop forward Shannon Boyd didn't train on Monday but with a long turnaround is expected to pass his concussion protocols in time to face Canterbury.

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