Ash Taylor of the Titans.
Ash Taylor of the Titans.

Brennan hints at changes, Taylor fights injury

TITANS coach Garth Brennan could wield the selection axe in a bid to fix the Gold Coast's sloppy defence as halfback Ash Taylor battles a nagging hamstring injury.

The Titans are the NRL's worst defensive team after seven rounds, conceding 197 points in a mixed start to the season.

The Titans have shown they are a sharp team with the football and have little trouble scoring points when they can maintain possession and build momentum.

However attack means little when you concede too many points.

Poor ball handling and ill-discipline crippled the Titans in Saturday's 26-14 loss to the Cowboys at 1300SMILES Stadium.

The Titans conceded 12 penalties, including 10 in the first half, and made 11 errors to gift the Cowboys a 26-2 lead.

To make matters worse, Taylor was icing his troublesome hamstring on Sunday which has already caused him to miss a game this year.

 

Ashley Taylor leaves the field injured.
Ashley Taylor leaves the field injured.

Brennan delivered a gold medal spray to his troops at full-time before labelling them "dumb" in his post-match press conference.

And he would not guarantee the same 17 would run out at Cbus Super Stadium to face Cronulla on Saturday in the Gold Coast's first home game since Round 1.

"You never know," Brennan said when asked if he would show faith in his team.

"There were a lot of positives there. We're a side that's building. There is no need to panic.

"Yeah I'm disappointed, but there's no panic stations here at all.

"We need to be better than that for 80 minutes instead of playing for 15 minutes. If we do that we'll trouble most teams.

"If we're not going to stick to what we do all week we're going to make it hard on ourselves."

Bryce Cartwright is a much-maligned star signing. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Bryce Cartwright is a much-maligned star signing. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Despite the Titans boasting a squad that was expected to do little this season, Brennan holds incredibly high standards and has guided them to a 3-4 start.

The rookie NRL coach will not accept what he called "schoolboy" errors, in particular players dropping the ball early in sets and from scrums.

Titans prop Jarrod Wallace said the Gold Coast had to accept Brennan's brutal "dumb" assessment.

"What he meant by that was we had a game plan and didn't stick to it," he said.

"We went away from it at times and the Cowboys hurt us. When we did it we scored tries.

"We played dumb footy because we were going away from our game plan which we knew worked.

"That's what's so disappointing. We could score points like 'that'. We are such a good attacking side. We're not a consistent enough team to do it for the whole 80 minutes."

Garth Brennan may be tempted into changes.
Garth Brennan may be tempted into changes.

Brennan's suspect left side of Kane Elgey, Phillip Sami and Tyronne Roberts-Davis was brutally exposed by the Cowboys.

Giant Cowboys forward Coen Hess made a beeline for five-eighth Elgey every time he got the ball and Brennan said his 42-game pivot needed to be better.

"They are young guys, but they've all had NRL experience," he said.

"They're not rookies, it wasn't their debut. Kane has played a lot of footy. Sami has played junior football in the centres.

"It wasn't ideal, but they've got to learn. We are a young side and that's what we're going to go through at his point in where we're at.

"It's going to take some hard knocks but those kids have got to learn from that. The NRL is a tough industry."



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