Todd Warren wraps up a much improved season by the Titans under new coach Justin Holbrook.
2020 Club Record
Competition Points: 18
2020 Player Achievements
Most Tries: Anthony Don (10)
Most Points: Ash Taylor (84)
Well, as a long suffering Titans fan who lives in Brisbane, usually this article would be depressing to write. Not this year though! From getting the wooden spoon in 2019 to finishing ninth in 2020, and with five wins in a row to finish the season, it’s fair to say that I am stoked with how this season went, in more ways than one.
It’s fair to say the Titans exceeded expectations this year. We can’t help but wonder if they would have even made the top eight if we had a regular 25-round season. It was a great introduction to NRL coaching for Justin Holbrook, who came with a great reputation after a successful stint in the Super League: coaching St Helens to a win percentage of 80%. The 28-23 win over the Tigers in round four was the first win for the club in a full year.
Personally, the main highlights were the two wins over Brisbane: a 30-12 thrashing in round seven and another 18-6 win in round 18. If you have ever been a non-Broncos supporter who lives in Brisbane, you will no doubt be able to appreciate how sweet it feels to beat the ponies twice, and then seeing them end up with the wooden spoon. This year has been pretty shit all round, and for me personally it has by far been the worst year of my life, so to have the Titans do so well has been a very unexpected and nice surprise.
If there was ever a season that emphasised how important a good coach is, you just need to compare the Titans’ rise from dead last to ninth under Holbrook, and the Broncos’ worst season ever under Anthony Seibold that handed them their first wooden spoon. Holbrook had his work cut out for him with a team coming off a very lean few years and a playing roster that had a lot of overpaid and underperforming players. He made the tough decisions by both getting the best out of players like Ash Taylor and also making the tough calls to drop players that needed to be dropped. With a bunch of those overpaid/underperforming players leaving in the off-season, as well as some great recruitment, there is potential for a real run into the finals next year.
AJ Brimson was once again fantastic when he got onto the field. The Titans winning their last five games was largely thanks to him and he was rewarded with the QLD fullback jersey, where he was great in his debut game before picking up a foot injury that will disrupt his pre-season.
NothingButLeague Player of the Season
Another ACL injury to Ryan James in the pre-season was devastating news after he was out for most of 2019 with the same injury; most of us wondered how we would be able to cover one of our best players, but the emergence of Moeaki Fotuaika caught us all off guard. He played 37 games over 2018 and 2019, but had a bigger role this season with injuries to James and Shannon Boyd. One of the Titans’ best all year, Moe finished with an average 145 run metres and 92% tackle efficiency while playing some big minutes at prop. He had such a great year that he made the Queensland Origin team, and will surely be a big part of the Titans’ 2021 campaign when he’s joined in the pack by Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Herman Ese’ese, and David Fifita.
2021 GAINS AND LOSSES
David Fifita (Brisbane Broncos 2023), Herman Ese’ese (Newcastle Knights, 2022), Tino Fa’asuamaleaui (Melbourne Storm 2023), Patrick Herbert (New Zealand Warriors, 2021), Sam McIntyre (West Tigers, 2021)
Jai Arrow (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Shannon Boyd (retired), Bryce Cartwright (released), Ryan James (Canberra Raiders), Nathan Peats (released), Keegan Hipgrave (Parramatta Eels),