Young star David Fifita is leading a revolutionary change at the Titans that could debunk the theory that forwards win matches and backs determine by how much.
After three games of the Telstra Premiership, it is the Gold Coast's forwards who lead their try-scoring tally over their backline stars as they emerge as one of the top attacking teams in 2021.
Fifita and winger Corey Thompson are the team's leading tryscorers with three apiece, but it’s the early season four-pointers to front-rowers Jarrod Wallace, Jaimin Joliffe and Moeaki Fotuaika plus hooker Erin Clark that’s helped the pack edge ahead of the backs with seven tries to six.
Winger Anthony Don, who is the club's all-time leading tryscorer but has yet to cross the stripe in 2021, revealed the Titans' new game plan is designed to create opportunities with a young pack that can exploit tired defences with their skills and footwork.
With the tactic proving successful against the Broncos and Cowboys, the Titans have been able to score 13 tries in three rounds to sit behind the Roosters (19) as the leading tryscorers in 2021.
"We try to put pressure on the opposition team and want to try to camp down on their try line," Don said.
"We know the ball is in play for a while then toward the back end of halves, the midfield is going to open up, especially once the quick play-the-balls start.
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"The middles have been doing an amazing job with short tip-ons and running off the halves and supporting each other and ball-playing themselves.
"At the moment we’re putting teams under a lot of pressure and something that cracks first is the middle so we’ve been exposing other team’s middles at the moment
"But you never know week to week that can change and I think the guys in the middle have been doing a great job and there is no need for the ball to go out wide when they’re scoring in the middle."
Much of their middle success is coming from the likes of new recruit Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Wallace, Fotuaika, Tyrone Peachey and Joliffe who are giving them a powerful midfield presence to create second-phase opportunities.
Don was part of the last Titans finals team in 2016 but said this year’s side had a completely different vibe to it given their star players are yet to hit the prime of their careers while previously the Gold Coast’s biggest names were entering the twilight zone.
"It’s a really young team, an up-and-coming team and it’s a team getting better as we go on," he said.
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"It’s nothing like a team I’ve played in, in the past. It’s going to improve as the season goes.
"Back in the day we had players like Luke Bailey, Nate Myles and Greg Bird but it’s a different feel, they were more at the back end of their careers whereas at the Titans now all our big stars are young like AJ [Brimson], David and Tino."
The Titans have had to contend with some upheaval this week due to the COVID-19 lockdown in south-east Queensland and will take on Canberra at Kogarah's Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in the second match of Saturday's double-header instead of on the Gold Coast.
The Titans will stay in Sydney post-game on Saturday before hopefully heading back to the familiar surroundings of Cbus Super Stadium in round five to face the Knights.