Titans coach Garth Brennan had no answer as to why first-choice goal-kicker and star half Ash Taylor declined to take the shot at penalty goal that could have seen his side draw level with the Cowboys on Sunday evening.
Desperate Cowboys defence prevented Gold Coast centre Brian Kelly from scoring the match-winner in the final seconds and meant two missed penalties in the final 12 minutes proved costly in the aftermath of a 6-4 defeat.
Kicking at just 62.5% so far this season, Taylor missed a difficult conversion from Dale Copley's 21st minute try from the sideline and then with the Titans trailing by two, missed a shot at penalty goal from 30 metres to the left of the posts.
When Cowboys replacement hooker Kurt Baptiste was penalised for a challenge on the legs of Tyrone Roberts after kicking with six minutes left on the clock, the Titans were awarded another penalty.
From a wider angle out on the right side of the field, a ginger Roberts took the shot at levelling the scores but, like Taylor, missed on the outside of the right upright.
Match Highlights: Titans v Cowboys
As his desperate search for confidence continues, Taylor challenged the line on a few occasions, kicked well for the most part and delivered some pin-point passes but his coach was left perplexed as to why he stepped aside with the game in the balance.
"You'd have to ask Ash about that one. I'm not sure why he didn't take it," Brennan said.
When pressed further, Brennan again deferred to his No.7 to provide the answers.
"You'll have to ask Ash on that one. I'm not sure why he didn't take it. He might have an injury, he might have been down on confidence, he might not have been comfortable on that side of the field.
"That question is going to have to be asked of Ash as to why he didn't take that shot."
Although it was low on points it was an entertaining contest, momentum switching back and forth and both teams completing their sets at 85 per cent or better.
Fullback AJ Brimson was pulled down just short of the line, Anthony Don was held up over the line late in the first half while Kelly's match-winner was scuppered by a committed Kyle Feldt.
"Credit where credit's due, they scrambled really hard tonight the Cows," said Brennan.
"It's heart-breaking when it comes down to that.
"There are so many things going through your head, things you think we could have done differently but it doesn't make it any easier to get over that's for sure."
Despite the loss there were a number of outstanding performers for the Titans, none more so than starting front-rowers Jarrod Wallace and Moeaki Fotuaika, both of whom ran for more than 200 metres with Brimson logging 211 metres from fullback.