GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui of the Titans runs the ball during the round 18 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium, on July 16, 2021, in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Gold Coast Titans captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui will back-up from the Origin decider just three days after the contest, in a desperate bid to help the club avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.

Tino was enormous for the Maroons despite controversy, running 116 metres and notching 33 tackles for Queensland, despite being demoted to the bench an hour before kick-off, and will look to translate that form into club level.

Currently 15th on the ladder, the Titans are equal on competition points with the Wests Tigers, saved by a 24-point better for-and-against for the time being.

Having escaped the Origin game with two fines instead of any suspension, it leaves Fa'asuamaleaui with the hard tasking of leading his side to a victory over 'big brother' Brisbane, a side they led 24-4 over earlier this season before capitulating to a 35-24 loss at Suncorp Stadium.

Fa'asuamaleaui burst into tears following that match, blaming himself for the loss despite running over 270 metres in just 69 minutes, and over 30 tackles to boot.

It's clear how much not just winning means to Tino, but how much he shoulders the responsibility for his team as captain, despite being just 22 years-old.

It'll be a fresh-looking Gold Coast outfit, with under-pressure coach Justin Holbrook debuting Jojo Fifita on the wing, and handing Aaron Booth his maiden Titans jersey at hooker. Add into it the fact that Kevin Walters is resting at least four of his Origin stars, and you've got yourself a contest.

Named at lock for the clash at Cbus Super Stadium, Fa'asuamaleaui is hoping to translate that 'winning feeling' from Maroons camp into a Gold Coast victory.

"Take that energy and just go back to club-land and tell the boys let's just have a dig. Have each other's back and just enjoy football" Tino told the AAP.

"That's what I'm going to try to take back. Hopefully we finish the year strong."

A victory over Brisbane would drag the Titans away from second last and more importantly, away from the wooden spoon. If Holbrook is to maintain his position longer than the next few weeks, it'll be on the back of Tino and the remainder of the squad.


  1. Sounds like Tino and Justin are on completely different pages.

    Justin has obviously written off the season and is blooding new players.
    I’d argue with you conclusion that: “If Holbrook is to maintain his position longer than the next few weeks, it’ll be on the back of Tino and the remainder of the squad.”

    I suspect Justin has apprised the Board of his intention to develop the squad for 2023 rather than pursue a few points in a dead season, and received at least tacit approval of that approach. Whether he gets sacked or not will not be influenced by the next few results.

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