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Titans down but Tino's towering presence provides a lift

The Titans got a close up look at what Storm prop Tino Fa’asuamaleaui will bring to the club when he joins next year and coach Justin Holbrook liked what he saw.

Fa’asuamaleaui, who made 120 metres from his 12 barnstorming runs off the bench for Melbourne, will link with the Titans on a three-year deal.

“I think he has been great all year for them and is progressing quickly as a great young player,” Holbrook said after his side’s 42-6 loss on the Sunshine Coast.

“He will have a really good year for the Storm this year and then I am really happy that he is joining our club next year. The way he is carrying the ball is barnstorming and he played well again tonight… unfortunately.”

The Titans also received some good news the past week on the signing front with Knights prop Herman Ese’ese set to join the club on a two-year deal.

“We want to have a good year this year and put a better squad together for next year and Herman is another guy keen to come to our club and get up to the Gold Coast which is great,” Holbrook said.

“We are getting the right players coming back and that is what we are wanting to build here.”

Storm prop Tino Faasuamaleaui.
Storm prop Tino Faasuamaleaui. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Holbrook was confident early in Friday night’s game when the Titans kept the Storm to 6-all after 26 minutes but conceded his side received a football lesson from a quality side.

The Titans were still in the game trailing 18-6 at the break but the Storm got possession from a strip early in the second half due to a rule change that Holbrook doesn’t agree with.

“We have made a lot of great rule changes but the worst one is when you have got three in a tackle, two let go and then you strip the ball,” he said.

“It was a lesson for us again. We always have it done to us but we can’t do it to anyone else.

"From that moment we get the ball taken off us and it is six-again, six-again and try. That is how the whole second half went against a good opposition that aren’t going to give you chances.”

Holbrook explained why he doesn’t like the rule.

Match Highlights: Storm v Titans

“I have never liked it. Our game is built on hard work and honesty and the one-on-one I have always been happy with because it is an even tussle, but three blokes in and two let go I have never liked,” he said.

“I know we are here for entertainment and I think every other rule change is great… but I am not blaming that as an excuse. It had no bearing on the result tonight.”

The Titans' finals chances are slim but Holbrook said there was one thing on his agenda at the moment.

“I want to win next week against Penrith. That is what I want to see,” he said.

“Since the resumption we have had three good wins and we were starting to go forward a bit.

"It was a huge step backwards tonight but a good learning curve. We have got a lot of guys who will learn about their own games individually and how we have all got to have eight or nine out of 10 games.”