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Underwhelming 'under 20s' defence a horror show for Holbrook

Titans coach Justin Holbrook compared his side to an under 20s outfit after they produced a disastrous capitulation in the 36-28 loss to Brisbane to enhance their reputation as the Harlem Globetrotters of the NRL.

The Titans led 22-0 after just 14 minutes after a dazzling start with three tries from grubber kicks and a superb line break play by Tyrone Peachey had the Broncos in disarray.

But 36 straight points to the Broncos even while the Titans maintained a 91 per cent completion rate proved the Gold Coast simply are unwilling to work as a team in defence as they’ve now conceded 112 points in three successive defeats.

“We are just leaking way too many points. I feel like I’m back coaching under 20s footy again the last few weeks, it’s horrible,” Holbrook said.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Titans

“We are not tackling well with 13 men, we actually needed 14 men on the field, not 12.

“We are really playing as a team when we have the ball and defending by ourselves when we don’t have it. We are just individually trying to guess at what we should be doing and we’re getting it horribly wrong.

“It can be hard when you’re just having great attack and it's all happening well and all going good and then the minute they’ve got the ball you forget you have to defend.

“We have no one that is getting us out of it, we can’t stop the traffic when it’s going against us.

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“That is why we’re not winning games of footy. We’re not good enough at stopping it through the middle or making really horrible decisions on the edges. We are just leaking points everywhere.”

The Titans have now lost three straight games to drop to 3-5 to start 2021 and Holbrook admitted any thought the club had about breaking into the finals this year was way off base as they’ve yet to show the mental resilience to contend with the elite clubs in the NRL.

“We are a million miles off it at the minute aren’t we,” Holbrook said.

“We are a third of a way through the comp now and we’ve only won three games so you know we’ve got to follow a similar path to last year but fast-track it to get ourselves acknowledging it and working hard and fixing it.”

Making matters worse for the club, their most consistent player winger Corey Thompson limped off early in the second half with an ankle injury and could miss several weeks.

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Holbrook had threatened to make changes after the 36-0 loss to Manly three weeks ago if his players tossed up another attitude issue, but after the 40-30 defeat to Souths and the fadeout in Brisbane he is still unsure who is to blame and who might rectify the situation ahead of next week’s trip to play Wests Tigers in Sydney.

“It’s not one or two people, it’s so many of us making the wrong decisions when we don’t have the ball,” he said.

“We have to have a look at it. It’s been three different weeks. Manly was a poor attitude. I think last week we got beat with a real good execution side in Souths where we lost a centre (Patrick Herbert) and KP (Kevin Proctor) was defending on one leg so you can excuse it a little bit.

“Then tonight we were flying then the wheels fell off and we couldn’t stop it. While we have leaked three weeks in a row we’ve got to look they are different but it’s the same result and we’ve got to fix it up.”