The Warriors, after their impressive win over the Panthers on Friday evening, have returned to finals footy. For the first time in a long time the Warriors have found consistency.
I literally never thought I’d type those words. “The Warriors have found consistency.” … it still feels wrong.
The Warriors have been able to produce quality football on a regular basis and thus have become a real dark horse in the Premiership race as the regular season concludes.
A win this weekend could see the Warriors finish as high as fifth. Results would have to go their way but neither the Panthers nor Dragons are guaranteed a win, while the Broncos have a tricky game against the Sea Eagles.
Worst case scenario, the Warriors finish eighth and play the Panthers, a team they just beat off the park with relative ease.
I’m happy to lift the inconsistent tag off the Warriors for the rest of the 2018 season.
Step forward the Gold Coast Titans to assume the title of the NRL’s Jekyll and Hyde.
Seriously, watching the Titans can either be a source of great delight or 80 minutes that make you want to scratch out your eyes, or worse, watch the 15-man code.
They can be the attacking geniuses of the competition or they can play at a level that any A grade side across the nation would beat them.
Ash Taylor is one of the game’s premier young play makers. He has the ball on a string at times and simply doesn’t understand the words ‘very unlikely’ when taking a chance.
OR, Ash Taylor can be a player who turns your hair grey with frustration as a fan of the game.
The Titans’ opening 40 minutes against the Storm over the weekend was nothing short of incredible. They could, and probably should, have put 20 points on the NRL ladder leaders and defending champions.
In the second half they couldn’t hold onto the ball. They not once looked like beating the Storm despite a plethora of chances with the ball.
So, to the game against the Sea Eagles. That first half was awful. The Sea Eagles looked like scoring 100 points. They almost did.
I’d like to get a hold of the batch of half time oranges on offer in the Titans dressing room. They came out in the second half like a side of 13 immortals.
They put on five tries in just over 20 minutes of play. They could have had a sixth or even a seventh but seemed to be caught up auditioning for spots with the Rugby League Globetrotters.
Counting the final moments of the first half, the Titans put on six tries in 25 minutes. They were untouchable. As bad as Manly were in defense, not many sides were going to shut them down completely.
Yet then the Titans forgot how to play footy and conceded two late tries to somewhat undo their amazing 25 minute effort.
I’d argue the Titans are better than their eight wins and 15 losses suggest, but only partly.
At the peak of their powers I’d have the Titans on the edge of the eight. They could do some damage come finals time. They only lost by two points to the minor premiers elect.
That said, at times the Titans looked like a side who could run away with the wooden spoon race and finish last. That’s saying something in a competition containing an awful Eels side and an equally poor Sea Eagles outfit.
For every amazing effort by the likes of AJ Brimson or Anthony Don, there were just as many lazy attempts at tackle, bad reads in defense or silly penalty conceded.
The amount of times the Titans had a roll on only to throw a ridiculous forward pass or a lost ball out of nothing has my hair turning grey. I feel for those poor fans of the Titans who pay to turn up every week for the pleasure.
With a home record of 4-7 and an away record of 4-8, a loss to the Cowboys this weekend would confirm what we already know; that the Titans are consistent at being inconsistent.
With 446 points scored the Titans are comparable with top eight sides. They’ve scored 80 points more than the ninth placed Tigers. The attack minded Warriors have only scored six more points than the Titans.
In defense the Titans have conceded 552 points. In comparison the Eels have conceded only 506 points. Only the Sea Eagles, Knights and aforementioned Titans have conceded more.
For every consistent performer in the likes of Ryan James or Jai Arrow, the Titans have three players who fail to put it together week to week. I won’t name names, it wouldn’t be fair, but with all due respect I think it’s fair to say the majority of the Titans squad might not be found under ‘consistent performers’.
I’m looking forward to seeing the Titans play the Cowboys this Saturday night … depending on which Titans outfit turns up.