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Renouf: It's all between the ears for Titans

The Titans have shown they can match it with anyone, but they’ve got to fix the problem between the ears before they beat any of the top teams.

When you've get a 22-point lead after 15 minutes against any team, you shouldn’t lose.

I know they are fairly inexperienced and that sort of thing can happen when you race to an early lead and you let your guard down and think "well we’ve got this".

That is a mental breakdown. Good teams don’t do that. They always win from there. They put the pedal down and just go on with it.

The Titans have blown good leads against Brisbane and South Sydney in back-to-back weeks. They should have five wins to their name and be sitting one win outside the top four.

Instead, they’ve got only three wins, sit in eighth place and if they don’t stop this three-game losing streak soon they could quickly find themselves down the wrong end of the ladder. That’s how quickly your season can turn.

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This week they play the Wests Tigers who have shown us that a week is a long time in rugby league.

For the Titans, this is the type of game they should win if they’re going to be anywhere near it come finals.

Coach Justin Holbrook gave his team a decent spray after the Broncos loss when he said it was like coaching under 20s again with how they’re working as a team in attack but then defending as individuals.

Titans halfback Jamal Fogarty.
Titans halfback Jamal Fogarty. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

In the last three weeks, the Titans have conceded 112 points. Four of the top five teams haven’t conceded that many points in the first seven rounds this year.

That tells you where the Titans’ heads are at in defence.

There’s been a bit of negative commentary around Dave Fifita’s defence and a few people who say he just doesn’t tackle even though he almost topped the Titans’ tackle count.

There is no doubt he is a massive attacking force, but defence is the side of the game he needs to work a bit harder on.

Knowing his work ethic, I am sure he will address that area of his game.

But it’s not just Fifita who needs to lift in defence, it’s the entire team.

The leaders need to step up. Jarrod Wallace has spoken about wanting to be a leader this year, well he needs to get stuck into those young fellas as well and show them how to get it done. Also, Kevin Proctor needs to show the way. 

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Corey Thompson is a huge loss for the Titans. He has been one of their best and it’s a shame he is injured.

Yardage wise he does so much for them, many times from a standing start he has got them onto the front foot and he breaks the first tackle almost every time.

I like the way Tyrone Peachey is playing. He brings that X-factor and is just one of those players you like to have him there because he can fill in anywhere and if you look at the way the Titans have been playing he has had a big influence on many of the tries they’ve scored.

Ash Taylor has been a bit in and out of form. I know he is off contract and wanting to get a new deal. I’d just love to see Ash run the ball a bit more.

Taylor opts to kick early in the count

After a couple of tough losses it’s important the Titans go into this game against Wests Tigers with a really positive mindset.

They would believe this is a game they have to win. They’ve showed everyone they can score points but it’s the old cliche that defence wins games so for them it’s just about knuckling down defensively to get the two competition points.

I think if they can beat the Tigers at Campbelltown, they can get their mojo back. And they’ll need it because next week it’s the Panthers in Magic Round.

 

NRL Magic Round Brisbane 1-Day & 3-Day Passes are now on sale with eight massive games across round 10 at Suncorp Stadium this May. With the league's best players all heading to Brisbane, you'd hate to miss it! Tickets at NRL.com/Tickets