Pre-Season Prediction: 16th
Actual Finish: 16th
– 36-18 win over Manly in round 11: If you looked at this game you’d swear that the Titans played finals and the Sea Eagles finished last.
The Titans made a mockery of the Brookevale record by running in seven tries to three.
Dale Copley scored a hattrick in the route.
Trailing 12-10 at halftime, the Titans ran riot in the second stanza, exciting a lot of fans in the meantime.
– Justin Holbrook appointment: For the diabolical season endured by those on the holiday coast, the best decision moving forward may have also been made.
The Titans have appointed successful former St Helens coach Justin as the man to lead them into a new era.
Reports indicate he will be given two years with no pressure to rebuild the squad and oversee a culture shift.
Holbrook has shown alot in his short career, dethroning the mighty Wigan to deliver the 2019 title. With an 80% win rate in a tight competition, he looks like the best man for the Titans job.
The former Roosters assistant oversaw a St Helens side that finished an unheard of 16 points clear of second place en route to a big grand final victory.
– Ash Taylor’s Season: Again, I hate to signal out players in these spots but Ash Taylor went from fringe Origin selection to shopped around to zero interest.
Taylor took some time away from the game to take care of some non-football related issues so hopefully he’s on the way back to his best.
After winning the 2016 rookie of the year, expectations were high for the playmaker. He was dropped earlier this year after his early season performances ranged from ordinary to terrible.
A big off season under a new coach can only be a big thing. I for one am hugely rooting for the young half to refind his form for the Gold Coast club.
– Awful home record: Although their away record was hardly a hit, to win only two games at all season is simply not up to scratch.
Incredibly both wins came in succession back in April, against two sides who at the time looked finals bound.
Newcastle and Penrith were the two teams beaten for the record. Across those games the Titans scored 68 points.
In contrast they only scored 128 points across their other ten home games.
– Signings fail to live up to hype: In the pre-season I wrote that the Titans recruited very well.
I was wrong.
We had 25 rounds and we’re still no closer to finding out where Tyrone Peachey best fits into this side.
Peach was a marquee signing but was reduced to a bit time player. He failed to fire at centre, was awful in the halves and could not provide spark from the bench.
There were rumours he was looking to skip out on his deal before the season even kicked off. The Titans probably wished he had.
Shannon Boyd was expected to provide a big body and big metres yet failed to fire in any meaningful way.
Star Player: Jai Arrow
Truthfully it was not a tremendous bar to be set by Jai Arrow was the best of Gold Coast players in 2019.
Arrow added to his origin jersey and was named in both the PMs 13 lineup and the Australian 9s side.
Sadly reports indicate he’s already looking away from the club with rumours linking him to multiple clubs.
Arrow was a model of consistency in both attack and defence. The club should really be looking to lock him down long term.
Season Grading: F
In the past I’d joked about giving an F minus grading, and if it were ever possible, it’s when describing the 2019 Titans.
Four wins in a prefessional too tier competition is embarrassing but sadly the Titans were every bit as bad as that record suggests.
I genuinely think their feeder club, the QLD Cup winning Burleigh Bears would have equalled, if not bettered their season.
Their star recruits failed to fire, their big names either underperformed or sat in the stands through injury or other reasons, and their momentary glimpses of brilliance were sandwiched between weeks of awful footy.
At the end of round 13, the Titans had three wins. Unfortunately they would not add to that tally.
The Titans really need to allow Holbrook complete control in his rebuild. Support his moving on players and trust his methods.
If not, they’ll be in exactly the same position again for years to come.
It’s a lot of faith to put into a coach with exactly zero NRL coaching games to his resume, but quite frankly they have no choice.
Don’t be surprised to see a vastly different side named in round one. Given that they finished eight points adrift of a horrible Dragons outfit, that’s not a bad thing.
The first order of business should be finally deciding what to do with the club’s brightest talent in AJ Brimson.
He was wasted for most of the season in a ridiculous bench role while other players continued to underperform and stunt his progress.