Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook wishes the season was not coming to an end after the Titans romped to a fourth consecutive win for the first time since 2014 with a razzle-dazzle 42-24 defeat of Manly at Lottoland on Saturday.
The Titans could finish as high as ninth place if they beat Newcastle in their final match at Cbus Super Stadium next Friday night, but if the season was the usual 24 rounds rather they would be on track to secure a play-off berth.
“We would be happy if we could extend it,” Holbrook said. “I would love to keep playing. I am really enjoying it and so are the players but we all knew how the long season was going to be once COVID hit.
“We are just really happy that we are putting ourselves in a good spot and we are happy for everyone at the club. We have one match to go and we will reassess for next year.”
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Titans
Broncos second-rower David Fifita, Storm lock Tino Faasuamaleaui and Knights forward Herman Ese’ese will move to the Gold Coast next season to bolster a team on the rise since Holbrook’s arrival this year.
Fullback AJ Brimson, halves Jamal Fogarty and Ash Taylor, centres Young Tonumaipea and Treymain Spry revelled in the open attacking conditions against the Sea Eagles, as did winger Corey Thompson before succumbing to a hamstring injury just before half-time.
There were also fears that hooker Mitch Rein had sustained a fractured eye socket and he failed a HIA during the interval.
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“I was really proud of everything we did in the first half, particularly with the ball,” Holbrook said. “We asked a lot of questions and executed some good plays.
“In the second half we were happy to go on and get the win. We had to change positions on the fly so we were just happy to come away with a good win.
“We are really happy obviously to make it four in a row. I am really proud of the way the boys have been playing and we have been getting better.”
Holbrook believes the first signs of improvement at the Titans this year was their 22-8 loss to minor premiers Penrith in round 11, which was followed by an 18-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters a week later.
The 42 points from eight tries and five conversions by Taylor equalled the most points scored by a Titans team, although the club’s biggest win remains the 42-4 defeat of Parramatta in 2013.
“I thought way back when we played Penrith we showed some really good signs and from that game onwards we have been really consistent as a team,” Holbrook said.
“That is the most pleasing thing as a coach. To have your team turn up and play similar every single week for a long period is a tremendous effort and we are really proud. We have got one more game and if we play well it puts us in good stead for next year.”