Gold Coast Titans
Season Preview

Gold Coast Titans
Season Preview

2010 Position: 4th (15 wins, 9 losses)

Gains: Luke Capewell (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Joe Vickery (St George Illawarra Dragons), Richie Williams (Burleigh Bears, Queensland Cup).

Losses: Mat Rogers (Retirement), Jordan Atkins (Parramatta Eels), Ryan Tongia (Cronulla Sharks), Aaron Cannings (Released), Josh Graham (Released).

The Titans have been one of the most consistent sides in recent years, enjoying a spot in the top 8 since 2008. 2010 was no exception, as the Titans put in consistent performances throughout the year despite injuries to key players. One of their strengths in 2010 was the flexibility in their squad, with players like Preston Campbell, Mat Rogers, Greg Bird and William Zillman able to play several positions very effectively when needed. This also gave players a chance to prove their worth in different positions. Greg Bird really shone in his move to lock, both for Titans and for NSW and Australia. Rogers really took to his move to 5/8th at the end of the season, leading the Titans on a 5 game winning streak and securing a top 4 finish.  His presence in the team will be missed next season, but they still have a highly talented pack.

At times in 2010 the Titans looked incredibly dangerous, their second half demolishing of the Parramatta Eels in round 22 finally showed what this team is capable of when it builds some momentum and plays with confidence. Unfortunately in many games they struggled to maintain this level of play, leading to many close matches, where they really proved their grit, coming from behind on many occasions to beat their opponents.

A good team culture seems to be established at the Titans, and their team will enter the 2011 season largely unchanged. John Cartwright also looks set to remain as the Titans coach for the coming seasons. This stability and the benefit of a full season of experience behind them can only help them to improve. If the potential we saw at times in 2010 can be reached consistently, they are a real chance of securing their maiden grand final berth.

What went right in 2010: After struggling with mid-season injuries to Campbell and Prince, then losing Bird to Origin, the Titans managed to rally together at the end of the season, producing a 5 game winning streak to finish up in fourth. They finally got to taste finals success, with a win against the Warriors in week one of the finals. They ended up one win short of their maiden grand final appearance, bowing out to the Roosters in the third week of the finals. Many of their wins were tough battles, with two golden point wins and 13 matches decided by less than 10 points.

What went wrong in 2010: The Titans seemed to really struggle with momentum in 2010. With players such as Prince, Bird, Rogers and Campbell in the attacking lineup there was no shortage of creativity. It seemed just as they started to look dangerous, an error would be made and momentum would shift against them. This was reflected in their average of nearly 10 errors a game, 12th in the NRL. Injuries to these players throughout the year also played a key role. The Titans attack rarely reached its full potential.

Final say for 2011: The Titans have gained a lot of experience in 2010 that should carry them well through the 2011 season. They have a great balance of established playmakers in Prince, Campbell and Bird, and great young talent in Kevin Gordon, William Zillman, Joseph Tomane and David Mead. With a forward pack boasting players such as Luke Bailey, Ashley Harrison, Anthony Laffranchi, Mark Minichello and the hardworking Nathan Friend, they are easily capable of another top four finish. If they stay injury free and build some momentum this season, a maiden grand final appearance is easily within their grasp.

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