Mathew Williams reviews the 2023 Season of the Gold Coast Titans where they finished 14th on the ladder.
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Defence once again the Titans downfall
The 2023 season for the Titans began with plenty of promise with the signings of Sam Verrills and Kieran Foran adding some much-needed experience to a young side as they looked to work their way back into finals contention. However, the season did not go to plan as the club struggled to build any sort of consistency before sacking coach Justin Holbrook in June and missing the finals by a fair margin.
The Titans have always had the ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over, unfortunately often not in their favour and this season proved to be no different. They conceded on average 27 points per game while putting up 21 of their own. The sides defensive frailties were on full display as the side coughed up a NRL record 26 point lead to fall 28-26 at the hands of The Dolphins.
Injury struggles play a role in the sides defensive struggles with key personnel missing large amounts of game time, including Verrills only taking part in 11 fixtures while last year’s Origin hopeful Beau Fermor suffered a ruptured ACL and missed the entirety of the season. Fermor wouldn’t have solved these problems, but the back rower would have added some starch to a troublesome right edge defence.
With the football in hand, the Titans unearthed themselves a gem on the wing in the lightning fast Alofiana Khan-Pereira as the rookie crossed for 20 tries and led the club in line breaks. The winger developed a nice combination with Kelly, Foran and Fifita that will have fans very excited for what another offseason can do for this left edge.
This young Titans side had plenty of growing to do this season and the side will be better for it in the long run. With premiership winning coach Des Hasler at the helm next season, things are looking up on the glitter strip.
Key Player Stats
Most Try Assists: 12, AJ Brimson
Most Line-breaks: 30, Alofiana Khan-Pereira
Most Run Metres: 3,612, Phillip Sami
Most Post Contact Metres: 1,217, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Most Tackles: 719, Chris Randall
Most Errors: 33, Alofiana Khan-Pereira