NRL Rd 16 - Knights v Titans
NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Titans players warm up during the round 16 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and the Gold Coast Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium, on July 01, 2022, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

The Gold Coast Titans have suffered yet another dismal second half fade out to fall short against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday evening, leaving the club outside of the top eight at the end of Round 13 in the NRL.

After heading into the halftime break with a six-point lead, the Titans lost control of the second half, letting in 30 unanswered points before a late consolation try to captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui ensured they wouldn't go scoreless to fulltime.

The Titans have had some horror second halves this year.

The worst of the lost undoubtedly came during Round 8 against the Dolphins, having led 26 points to 6 at halftime only to fall 28 points to 26.

Since then, the club almost squandered an advantage against the Parramatta Eels during Magic Round, let in six second-half tries against the Newcastle Knights and fell 20-18 against the Canterbury Bulldogs despite leading 14-0 at the break.

That has all taken place in the last five games for the Titans, and under fire coach Justin Holbrook, who may need his side to play finals football to keep his job into next season, put it down to his team falling apart when not winning moments and thinking clearly, although admitted there was a lack of experience within the first-grade side at the present time.


"Obviously disappointing. We were in a great position at halftime, then went out and made some errors. Couldn't defend our line. Disappointed," a dejected Holbrook said in his post-game press conference.

"We have to work hard. There are no excuses for it.

"We had some inexperience out there tonight, and they did a really good job. At times we defended well, but their last tackle options were really a threat. We couldn't build any pressure in the second half - never looked like it. That's a big learning curve for us.

"We are defending really well in the first half. I think we sit second in the competition at halftime defensively, so it's not the whole game, it's what's happening when we aren't winning moments and thinking clear," Holbrook said.

"We have got two wingers that have played a handful of games, it gets hard on them. I don't want to make excuses, but you're asking me questions and it's inexperience. Had a guy play his first game at five-eighth, a guy play his first game at fullback, and they have key guys like Damien Cook and Cody Walker. We did a great job in the first half, but they step up in the second and we couldn't stop them. That's the reality of it.

"We have to get better at it. It's pretty obvious we are going into games clear and defending well, but not doing it for 80 minutes."

Captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui put the issues down to a lack of confidence.

"I think it's just confidence," Fa'asuamaleaui said.

"We have been in games where we have been up so much and then the second half we sort of let it down. It hurts that we have done it before, and it's in the back of boys heads.

"We just have to fix it."

The Tians, who will sit 11th on the table at the end of Round 13, have won five of their twelve games and are still very much in the mix to play during September, with big clashes against the Wests Tigers, Brisbane Broncos, Canberra Raiders, Dolphins and Eels to come before the end of the Origin period.


  1. Justin Holbrook should go today! Yesterday! He doesn’t have a clue how to fix this. It’s been happening for over two years!

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