GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 22: Coach Garth Brennan looks on during a Gold Coast Titans NRL training session on November 22, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The Gold Coast Titans have recruited heavily and enter 2019 with two of the game’s best young players.

Will it be enough to launch a raid on the top eight this year?

2019 Gains

Jesse Arthars (South Sydney Rabbitohs, 2019), Shannon Boyd (Canberra Raiders, 2022), Ryley Jacks (Melbourne Storm, 2019), Brian Kelly (Manly Sea Eagles, 2021), Tyrone Peachey (Penrith Panthers, 2021), Tyrone Roberts (Warrington Wolves, 2020)

2019 Losses

Kane Elgey (Manly Sea Eagles), Brendan Elliot (Manly Sea Eagles), Joe Greenwood (Wigan Warriors), Konrad Hurrell (Leeds Rhinos), Ryan Simpkins (retired)

2018 Recap

The Titans finished the 2018 season in 14th position. Eight wins and 16 losses, with a points differential of -110 sums it all up perfectly.

They were never in the running for finals footy despite some brilliant performances. They just couldn’t put together enough wins and ultimately finished seven wins outside the eight.

Bryce Cartwright was the biggest flop of 2018 in terms of signings after arriving with huge hype.

AJ Brimson emerged as a future star with some breathtaking showings of attacking flair.

They failed to live up to expectations in 2018 and will be looking to do far better in the new year.

Best Recruit: Tyrone Peachey

I’ve said before, and am more than happy to go on record yet again, Tyrone Peachey is a huge signing. The Origin and Kangaroo utility can play literally anywhere.

That said, he is yet to really make a position his own. That will change in 2019 as he becomes one of the Titans main men, surely in the halves to start the season.

Peachey has every tool in the world to become a genuine superstar on the holiday strip. If he can hit the ground running then the Titans are far better placed to start the season with a bang.

Given he’ll likely start in the halves, Peach will have to make plenty of tackles, and will be looked upon to create serious attacking opportunities. He’ll thrive under the increased workload.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 22: Tyrone Peachey looks on during a Gold Coast Titans NRL training session on November 22, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Future Star/One To Watch: AJ Brimson

Given his incredible performances for the Titans in 2018, it’s hard to say Brimson is a ‘future star’ but for mine in 2019 he gets even better.

Bursting onto the scene after his 15 performances for the club last year, Brimson stared in the halves and at fullback. He likely has the number one jersey sewn up.

He lacks the size of the likes of a Tedesco or RTS but has blistering speed and an incredible ball playing game.

Given he will have another full off-season under his belt, it will be fun to see what the youngster can produce in 2019.

Star Player: Ash Taylor

This is Ash Taylor’s year. For the Titan’s sake it absolutely has to be.

Taylor is key to everything that is good on the Gold Coast and looks set to explode into superstar status now that he has two seasons under his belt.

With an elite kicking game, Taylor will be looked upon as the play maker given he will be joined by the running Peachey in the halves.

Taylor has every tool in the kit and with Origin spots potentially up for grabs, look for young Ash to push his Origin claims early in the season with performances for the Titans.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 11: Ashley Taylor of the Titans runs with the ball during the round one NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Recruitment Grade: B-

The Titans have recruited well, without adding an absolute megastar in the process.

Tyrone Peachey is one of the best signings for the upcoming season. This is a brilliant move for both player and club and will allow Peach to become a full time number six.

Shannon Boyd adds serious size to an already frightening pack. He will surely have to find a way to play more minutes to justify his salary but he has the talent and size to become an asset.

Brian Kelly will slot straight into the centres. Ryley Jacks and Tyrone Roberts will provide cover if Peachey’s likely move into the halves doesn’t work out.

They haven’t added a season changing player like Johnson or Crichton, but all things considered they look a better side for their new signings.

Prediction: 16th

Titans fans can rest easy in the knowledge that I had the Warriors finishing with the spoon last season and they featured in the finals. Book your finals leave from work now.

That said, I just can’t see this side producing the points needed to win a series of games lifting them into serious finals contention.

In Brimson and Taylor they have two talented attacking freaks while Tyrone Peachey is one of the signings of the off-season. They also have an all star forward pack.

Unfortunately their bench looks very ordinary and that backline just doesn’t looks like a side that will keep opposition coaches up at night.

Brian Kelly is a clever get while Copley can produce. Don and Sami can find the line, but with due respect to those four players, they don’t make many others sides run on 13.

The Titans 2019 finals hopes fall on the shoulders of Brimson and Taylor. Given that Brimson is still a rookie and Taylor was over stretched in 2018, I just can’t see them beating many sides in 2019.

If their forward pack destroys opposition defences and lays the platform for Brimson to run riot, who knows? The safe money is on them missing finals.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know even if Peach has been training at 6 all reports have him in the centres. With Jacks and Roberts battling for the 6. With a pack the size of the Titans I can see them playing finals. (biased opinion) I’m looking forward to seeing how Jack Stockwell goes after his first uninterrupted by injury pre season he is a big bloody human.

  2. Tipped for the spoon eh? Oooooh that stings!

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t see the Titans finishing above 6th or 7th but I can see them finishing in the bottom part of the 8.
    A few things will need to go our way, luck with injuries etc but this is a squad that could and should be in the 8.

    Disagree that Peach is a walk up to partner Ash in the halves… makes the recruitment of Roberts and, even more so, Jacks, almost pointless…Roberts has played the 14 utility before but that looks like it will be Brimson’s role with Gordon at 1.
    Agree that Don, Sami, Kelly and Copley aren’t the most formidable CTW group, but Don is a great finisher, Sami is only in his 2nd season (and had a blinder in his first) and I genuinely think Kelly and Peach will be the centre pairing. And when called on last year Brenko was good in attack.

    A pack of James, Boyd, Proctor, Arrow and Wallace is more than solid.

    Bench is certainly a question mark… Brimson 14, leaves the best of Latu, Boyle, King, Carty (just spewed in my mouth a little…), Fotuekia, Whitbread, Hipgrave, Stockwell and Will Matthews. Serviceable but not fearsome.

    For me –
    1. Gordon
    2. Don
    3. Kelly
    4. Peach
    5. Sami
    6. Roberts
    7. Taylor
    8. Boyd
    9. Peats
    10. Wallace
    11. James
    12. Proctor
    13. Arrow
    Bench: Brimson / Mo Fotuaika / Hipgrave / Stockwell.

  3. What about Rein? His running game addded heaps to Titans attack last year. Brimson will be 1. Much more dynamic allround than anyone that can play FB. Plus proved his body is upto to the 1 on 1 defence at the back. It’s crucial to have a FB with no self preservation no better mentor than Gordon.

  4. What about Rein? His running game addded heaps to Titans attack last year. Brimson will be 1. Much more dynamic allround than anyone that can play FB. Plus proved his body is upto to the 1 on 1 defence at the back. It’s crucial to have a FB with no self preservation no better mentor than Gordon.

  5. Agree about Rein but can’t see a bench with Rein and Brimson both there. Leaves 2 spots for Big Mo and Stockwell, Peats to play 80 mins (30-35 at lock) and demands big minutes from a big forward pack. Proctor and James can go for 80mins, Arrow has the motor but played avg 60 last year with injury playing a part, Wallace and particularly Boyd need big rests.

    Brimson can play 1 and will go well at 1… I just don’t think it’s his this year. Garth has already said a fit Gordon is our 1. Brimson either halves or 14. Won’t play halves IMHO. Already spoilt for choice with specialists in that position.

  6. Pretty spot on. Wouldn’t change the forwards. I like our backline like this
    1. Brimson
    2. Don
    3. Lee
    4. Peachey
    5. Sami
    6. Roberts
    7. Taylor
    14. Rein
    Peachey is too good to be on the bench, Rein was also superb last year coming off the bench. I prefer Brenko Lee in the centres, he was solid with Don last year and Brian Kelly misses too many tackles. Watching Brimson last year, he really shines at fullback, and gives us that 3rd playmaker. Roberts straight into 6 to help Taylor out.
    There was always going to be the unlucky man and that will be Gordon imo. Gordon, Copley, Kelly, Arthurs and Jacks will be injury cover for the backline.

  7. Oh mate, I would love for Brimson to take the FB spot from round 1, but it sounds like Garth and the powers that be will start with Gordon.
    100% agree Peach can’t come off the bench. I liked Brenko a lot too TBH. I watched BK a bit at Manly and the kid has skills, but Brenko has the size and power.
    Gonna miss watching KFC Konrad run out each week… not gonna miss the 13 errors per game lol

  8. 1. Gordon
    2. Don
    3. Kelly
    4. Peach
    5. Sami
    6. Roberts
    7. Taylor

    Second worst back line in the comp. Behind the Bulldogs.

  9. @Kev. Couldn’t agree more. Ash Taylor – highly overrated and grossly overpaid.
    Can’t figure out why they even bothered to resign Tyrone Roberts either.
    I won’t say wooden spoon, but I’m thinking bottom 4.

  10. I once believed that Ash Taylor would be the best half-back of his generation. Each year he has started overweight and IMO, does not have the commitment to make the next step.

    I would love to see him get down to Melbourne or the Roosters. A preseason getting punished by Bellamy or Robinson and he may start reaching his potential.

  11. Titans won’t get the spoon but they won’t be around in September either, they have done nothing to say there will be any change from 2018.

  12. You could be right there. A top coach could bring out that potential that never ended up surfacing.
    But would he fit either of those teams? I’m not talking about availability of positions but rather their work ethic and expectations of their players. Not sure he has the right attitude they look for.
    Sadly, I don’t think he’s got what it takes.

  13. 1.Gordon
    2.Don
    3.Kelly/Lee/Copley
    4.Peachy
    5.Sami
    6.Brimson reports having him killing it
    7.Taylor
    8.Boyd
    9.Peats/Rein
    10.Wallace
    11.James
    12.Proctor/Cartwright
    13.Arrow
    14.Rein/Roberts/Jacks
    15.Fotuaika
    16.Hipgrave
    17.Proctor/Cartwright/Latu/Stockwell

  14. Did Penrith make Cartwright & Latu look better than they are? Or did they just go further down hill once they arrived on the Gold Coast? Especially Cartwright. Interesting to see how he goes this year.
    Peachey at 5/8th has never worked. Just doesn’t have enough skills to be a great 5/8th. So centre or the utility role again for him.
    Still think many are underestimating this team. A good forward pack & some good halves can get you a long way. They have both.

  15. I’ve always wondered the same about them both I was stoked about them being signed only to be so dissapointed about what they’ve brung to the lineup. Brennan has stated he’s never seen Cartwright so focused and training so well, fingers crossed it’s Carty016

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