Sunday’s 58-6 thrashing at the hands of the Roosters isn’t the biggest defeat suffered by Kallum Watkins but the English import believes what happens next will determine what kind of club the Titans become.
Watkins will play his third NRL game on Saturday against the Dragons at Kogarah with the wooden spoon almost guaranteed to be headed to the Gold Coast at season’s end if they can’t break a six-game losing streak.
It’s an unfamiliar position for Watkins who won five premierships in his first eight seasons with the Leeds Rhinos, one of the powerhouse clubs of the UK Super League.
There was a sixth Super League title in 2017 but not before a humiliating 66-10 smash-up at the hands of Castleford in the opening month of the season.
The Rhinos responded by winning nine of their next 11 matches and Watkins says the Titans can become a stronger club in the wake of what was just two points from being the worst loss in the club’s history.
"You're never successful unless you go through a tough patch,” said Watkins, who played 250 top-grade games for Leeds from 2008-2019.
“Every time we've been successful at Leeds there's always been a tough patch and we've been able to get through it.
Dragons v Titans - Round 21
"I remember going to big games it was always a question of whether we could deal with it when it gets tough and be players that could deal with that.
"It's getting through the tough part and once things start going well then continuing to get better and believing you can win.
"Collectively we had to combine together so we can get them performances out there."
Which is exactly where he believes the Titans are falling short.
There has been little positive response since the abrupt end to coach Garth Brennan's tenure but Watkins has no doubt that when they transfer the collective effort at training into games, the results will turn around.
"Here I think we need to be more together. We need to be more together out on the field,” said Watkins in the wake of a performance where the Titans were exposed almost at will.
"Off the field it's great, it's been so welcoming, it's been brilliant. But when we're on the field, especially when things get tough, you need to get it together.
"If we do that then we've got the players that will cause problems for other teams and we'll win."
As the team tracks towards the fewest wins in club history Watkins said it was important to instil a culture whereby winning is expected, such as the one he experienced when he first made his debut at Leeds as a 17-year-old.
"At Leeds they had a decade where they were really successful so there is always going to be pressure when you play there," he said.
"Leeds is a team that is used to being successful and the fans expect you to win.
"It doesn't matter who you put out there you're expected to win and I enjoy that because it's an expectation that you need to have of yourself."