Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook conceded that complacency may have been behind his side’s 36-0 drubbing by Manly at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Sporting Complex on Saturday.
After winning three of their opening five matches, the Titans were bought back to earth against a Tom Trbojevic-inspired Sea Eagles outfit with Holbrook admitting his players had begun to believe the hype created by their impressive start to the season.
"We were blown off the park from the start and for the full game," Holbrook said.
"We have been playing okay for the five games this year but we have a very young side and the minute you think you are playing alright something like that can happen.
"We learned a rugby league lesson today. The games roll around thick and fast and I think we spent the past week just patting each other on the back too much. We thought we would just go out and get the job done and we got beaten easily."
The Sea Eagles had conceded 154 points and scored just 34 points as they lost their opening four matches of the season before last weekend’s 13-12 defeat of the Warriors.
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Titans
In contrast, the Titans were coming off a 42-16 thrashing of Newcastle but Manly were a different team than they had been in the opening five rounds with the return of Trbojevic from a hamstring injury.
"I don’t think they needed him today, with how poorly we played and how well they played," Holbrook said. "We have got to accept it and make sure we learn from it.
"We have got a young side and we are not going to be at our best every week but we don't want to be like that either. That was disappointing and I can't shy away from it."
Holbrook said that in hindsight there may have been signs of complacency creeping in but it is difficult to identify that in the lead-up to a match.
"There's no use blaming one or two players because the whole 17 probably didn't turn up with a great attitude," he said.
"That can happen, you have a couple of good wins and everyone tells you that you are going good and then you forget to play the next week.
"I can say now, because we got blown off the park, that I could sense it or we were looking a week in advance but we have got to be ready every single week and we weren’t today."