The new year is upon us and teams are only a few days away from resuming training for the 2022 season.
Justin Holbrook was having flashbacks to his time as an under-20s coach watching Gold Coast’s “horrible” NRL defence that cost them for a third straight game on Friday.
Leading 22-0 after just 15 minutes thanks to four slick tries against Brisbane, the Titans coughed up 36 consecutive points as the hosts registered their greatest ever comeback and just their third win from the last 26 games.
It follows a 36-0 loss to Manly and 40-30 loss to South Sydney in the last two weeks, the Rabbitohs’ defeat came after the Titans had led 24-10 at halftime.
Gold Coast fell off 21 tackles in the first 40 minutes against Brisbane and Holbrook wasn’t looking to make excuses.
“I feel like I’m back coaching under-20s footy again, the last few weeks it’s horrible,” he said.
“It’s horrible to watch and it’s so obvious.
“We are just individually trying to guess at what we should be doing and we’re getting it horribly wrong.
“It can be hard to just calm down but that’s what we’ve got to do… it was only halftime that stopped them tonight.”
The off-season recruitment of David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui had pundits tipping the Titans for bigger things after their late-season surge saw them finish ninth.
Fa’asuamaleaui is due back from a two-game suspension next week but they appear set to be without reliable winger Corey Thompson, who left the game with an ankle injury early in the second half.
“We’re a million miles off at the minute, aren’t we? A third of the way through and only won three games,” Holbrook said.
“We’ve got to follow a similar path to last year but fast track it.
“(Poor defence) three weeks in a row, which is worrying signs and what we’ve got to fix.”