Gold Coast Titans
Top Pointscorer: Aidan Sezer
Top Tryscorer: James Roberts
Contract dilemma’s, cocaine charges, and financial difficulties. You could be forgiven for thinking that this was a list of plot ideas for a Hollywood movie, however, these were just some of the off-field troubles that plagued the Gold Coast Titans in their season from hell. 2015 wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Titans though, as the brilliance of young guns Kane Elgey and James Roberts has the future looking bright for the Gold Coast.
Following the debut of Elgey in Round 4,the Titans suddenly had their most creative halfback since Scott Prince left the helm in 2012. The young gun immediately struck up a combination with five-eight Aidan Sezer, and as a result the Titans enjoyed one of the best periods in their club history, as they notched up 30+ points in Round 6,7,and 8, to climb into the top eight.
However, the Titans soon went on the decline, as injury ravished both Sezer and Elgey. With their two halves leading the ship, the Titans had won 5 from 9 games, however they lost 5 straight games between Round 15 to Round 20 when they were forced to field a makeshift halves pairing. The Titans were also unlucky to lose a few close games, as they had 4 losses by 2 points or less, which ultimately could have had them finishing in 7th position if they managed to win those games.
Although Elgey was sensational in his first season in the NRL, he unfortunately was injured on too many occasions. One man who managed to play every game of the 2015 season was by far the Titans best player, James Roberts. Regarded by most as the the fastest man in the NRL, Roberts enjoyed his best and most consistent season to date, as he snagged 16 tries, equalling the Titans record for most tries in a single season. The 22 year olds electric speed and power had him in discussions for a NSW jersey this season, and he looks set for plenty of representative honours in the future if he continues to display the form he showed in 2015.
With Daly Cherry-Evans signed, sealed, and almost delivered, as well as the emergence of local prodigy Elgey, the Titans had no choice but to allow their star playmaker Aidan Sezer to sign with the Canberra Raiders for next season. The decision has come back to bite the Titans, as DCE’s backflip left them without an experienced halve to partner Elgey in 2016. The Titans have also released plenty of deadweight from their playing roster, including Nate Myles, Dave Taylor, Matt White, and Beau Falloon.
With Cherry-Evans backflip and Sezer’s departure, the Titans were desperate to add a half to their ranks, and they looked to the future by signing highly regarded Broncos youngster Ashley Taylor. With Elgey only having 16 NRL games under his belt, and just 1 for Taylor, the Titans needed an experienced playmaker to relieve the pressure on the two inexperienced halves. Tyrone Roberts will join the Titans from the Knights, and will be looking to form a deadly combination with his cousin James. The Gold Coast have also acquired experienced forwards David Shillington and Zeb Taia, as well as their inaugural hooker, Nathan Friend.
Neil Henry has begun to make the changes required for his preferred roster, however it will likely take another weapon in the centre’s and forwards for the Titans to become a genuine top eight force. With a focus on defence and fitness in the off-season, the Titans will have the speed and talent required to push further up the ladder in season 2016.