2024 NRL: Gold Coast Titans Season Preview

The Titans hope a new coach and a positional switch up will unlock the sides potential in the 2024 season.

Season Preview

The Titans’ inability to hold onto a lead and put in consistent 80 minute efforts has meant the side has under performed in recent years, but the Gold Coast club will be hoping for a change of fortunes with two-time premiership winning coach Des Hasler taking charge ahead of the 2024 season. Boasting a forward pack full of rep talent and some electric outside backs means Hasler has plenty to work with in his maiden season at the club in a bid to return the Titans to the finals.

Fans will be hoping that Hasler can add some starch to the side’s defence, but he will have his work cut out for him trying to turn around a side that conceded over 27 points per game last season. These defensive issues aren’t new to the Titans, with the side conceding less than 20 points per game in just one of the past 10 seasons.

One of the main talking points of the off-season was what Hasler was going to do about the fullback jersey. Maroons rep AJ Brimson has shifted to the centres to accommodate rising star Jayden Campbell’s transition into the fullback role, while also creating a clearer path to first grade for another booming young talent in Keano Kini. Kini has shown glimpses of his natural ability and was part of the Kiwis extended squad in the Pacific Championship; that experience will have him primed to push his own claims for the fullback spot.

The Titans will also benefit from the return of Beau Fermor after he missed the entirety of the 2023 season after having a breakout year and almost earning himself an Origin berth in 2022. Fermor adds a steel to a relatively frail edge defence, boasting a 90% tackle efficiency over his career and will provide some much needed cover as the new combination of Fermor, Boyd, Brimson, and Sami find their feet together in the early stages of the competition.

Best Signing

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The signing of Broncos middle forward Keenan Palasia will go a long way to strengthening a middle rotation that loses a lot of punch whenever rep forwards Tino Fa’asuamalaeui and Moeaki Fotuaika leave the field. The grand final was a great example of the talent he brings with the middle forward only being trumped by Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan in the Broncos forward pack. If he carries this form into his first season with the Titans, he will become a vital cog in a side that will be hoping to return to finals contention.

Key Player

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The Titans may have attacking weapons all across the park, but their success will largely come down to their game manager Tanah Boyd and his ability to get them into the right spots and put games away when they have the lead. The 23-year-old is entering his second full season at halfback and has shown plenty of promise but it remains to be seen if he can take the next step and become the elite organising half the club needs. The pressure will be building on Boyd with his understudy Tom Weaver getting his chance in first grade late last season and looking to add to his handful of appearances.

Player to Watch

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Titans fans will be hoping that tackle-busting livewire fullback Jayden Campbell is in for a big year after being handed the starting fullback role. There is no doubting that Campbell has the ability to break a game open: if he is able to consistently display the flashes of brilliance we all know he is capable of, this could be the year where he cements himself as a bona-fide star chiming into the backline. His club record 315 run metres against the Dragons in 2023 shows exactly the kind of havoc he can cause with his combination of speed and footwork.

Number Crunching

Premiers: nil
Minor Premierships: nil
10 years win/loss record: 82 wins, 155 losses (34.5%)
5 years win/loss record: 38 wins, 79 losses (32.5%)
2023 win/loss record: 9 wins, 15 losses (37.5%)
NRL Finals Appearances since 2014: 2
NRL Finals win/loss record since 2014: 2 losses (0%)
Biggest win since 2014: 44, vs New Zealand Warriors (44-0, 5/9/21, CBUS Super Stadium)
Biggest loss since 2014: 54, vs Brisbane Broncos (0-54, 5/8/17, CBUS Super Stadium)

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