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Renouf: If Gold Coast tighten up defence, they're finals certainties

Two big wins in the past two weeks have put the Titans back into the top eight and they have a big chance of staying there if they manage the rest of the season correctly.

Justin Holbrook has a big decision to make with his halves given young Toby Sexton's form while Jamal Fogarty has been injured.

For the team as a whole, getting their defence in order and maintaining belief they are good enough to be playing finals footy will be the key to their chances over these last five rounds.

The big thing for them is the mentality with their defence – we all know they can score tries, they seem to have turned a corner but they will have to drill that home for the remainder of the season.

They play the Cowboys this Sunday, with two very tough games against Souths and Melbourne after that, finishing up with the Knights and Warriors.

Titans back in the eight and hitting form at the right time

There's three very winnable games in there. Most people won't expect them to beat the Rabbitohs or Storm but if they can jag one win out of those two it will go a long way toward reaching their goal.

If they can't, they have to at least ensure they win the other three games and that should be enough to get them into the finals. You want to win every game but they definitely need to win those three.

I think their chances are really good, they just need to tighten up their defence.

Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Titans

Justin Holbrook said they have turned the corner a bit and you could see that in the games against the Dragons and Bulldogs.

They've done it at the right end of the season but they have to keep doing it. There's a massive incentive for them there but it will all go pear-shaped if they fall back into their old habits.

What will be interesting is the decision Justin makes with his halves. Sexton has been playing well in his first few games at NRL level and shown a lot of maturity for a young guy.

All three can kick goals and this young guy comes along, he's playing good footy and he's been given that responsibility as well, which I think is quite telling.

Its good having the three of them there because he puts pressure on those two.

Jamal's been out injured but he is fit again now. Someone like Wayne Bennett I think would probably put Jamal straight back in because he's done such a great job and has that calm head on him. The young fella will get his chance again.

Taylor starts and finishes another Titans try

Coming to this end of the season with a lot at stake I'd be playing the more experienced players and giving them a shot and then if that doesn't work out Sexton could get another run.

That would be the respectful thing to do, to show some faith in a guy who is one of your leaders and who has captained the side this year.

Getting towards the pressure end of the year, they've got themselves in the top eight, now they want to try and firm it up.

The other interesting call for Justin is whether to keep starting David Fifita off the bench to try and get the best out of him.

I think its suiting him at the moment to play like that. You have the other guys in the pack doing their job and at the time when you bring him into play, he is a massive asset and depending how the game is going he can bowl over for a try here and there and really assert himself.

They'll probably ride out the season with that plan, which is a big call to make with your marquee big-money recruit.

Early tackle kick perfect from Taylor to Kelly

It all comes back to Davey, they'll work with him and put support around him so he can make just as big of an impact playing 80 minutes.

They need to get into his head what he needs to bring as a marquee player. He's very capable of it but not consistent enough at the moment.

But he's still young, he's only 21 so he's got plenty of time to work on that.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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