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Titans rue close losses with finals fate out of their hands

The Titans are hopeful of scraping into the finals but could be made to rue a series of close losses that have left Justin Holbrook's team relying on other results.

Staying on 20 competition points after last week's agonising 15-14 loss to the Knights, the Gold Coast will need a big slick of luck - and a win over the Warriors on Sunday - to finish eighth.

They'll know if their dream is dashed before running onto Cbus Super Stadium with Canberra (22 points) playing the Roosters on Thursday and Cronulla (22 points) facing the Storm on Friday night.

Even if everything goes to script, for-and-against could still count the Titans out. Jarrod Wallace believes they would be "clear in the eight" if they'd played to their potential and "iced" more matches.

"We had Broncos in the first half, we had Souths, we had Manly - there are six points just there," the front-rower said.

"There have been so many games where we've had fantastic first halves or we've had fantastic second halves.

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"We lost by one point to the Roosters. It's always in the back of your mind, but we're just a young team, we're still learning.

"We've got guys that are gelling and clicking ... We've really looked well into our depth this year, which is good. It's given guys like Toby Sexton and Greggy Marzhew chances to play NRL."

Winger Corey Thompson also lamented the team's habit of failing to see tight matches through until the end.

"[There were] games where we didn't capitalise and had players sent off for 10 [minutes] and the other team ran away with it," he said.

"There are a handful of games that we can look back on and be very disappointed in. Those games that you don't think mattered in round 10 or whenever, they creep up on you at the back end of the year.

"We're really hoping that the results go our way and we can win on Sunday and play finals. We don't want to finish our season yet.

"We've worked too hard to just kick stones this week and bow out at Cbus and go on holidays. We want to play finals footy."

If fortune favours the Titans, it will be the first time since 2016 - and the second time since 2010 - they've featured in the playoffs.

Wallace is yet to play a finals match for the club.

"It hasn't been the most successful last five years, not getting finals and unfortunately getting the wooden spoon [in 2019], which wasn't nice," the six-time Queensland Origin forward said.

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"But I knew that there was a risk when I left the Broncs to come to a club that is starting to build. We've had a few hiccups but I think the last two years we've had some real promise."

A couple of days off training has put Gold Coast in a positive mindset as they prepare to farewell stalwart winger Anthony Don.

Don hasn't played in the NRL since round 12, but coach Holbrook could name the soon-to-be-retired 33-year-old in his extended squad and elevate him into the 17 if their finals chances flame out.

"I saw him on debut, I remember watching him going, 'Who's this unorthodox, big, lanky, country-looking fella?" Wallace said.

"He's been fantastic since I got here in 2017. He's been such a leader and is so experienced and such a great guy.

"He'll be missed around the club ... He'll probably still have a role around here or something, I'm sure the club will find something for him because guys like him are what clubs on built on."

Elsewhere, Wallace admitted it was "100 percent confusing" about what constitutes a send-off in the current game.

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After a mid-year crackdown, players have been left scratching their heads with Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell only sin-binned for a blatant high shot on Roosters centre Joey Manu last week.

NRL head of football Graham Annesley has since confirmed Mitchell should have been dismissed for the remainder of that clash.

"I completely agree that if there's any contact with the head or anything like that it should be a penalty but the thing is there's just no consistency throughout any of the games," Wallace said.

"Until we get that I think every player and fan and member of the clubs will always be upset about it."

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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