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It was the perfect end to an eventful week for the Gold Coast Titans as they upset the highly fancied Brisbane Broncos on their home turf.

The fact they did it without their inspirational skipper Tino Fa’asuamaleaui added to the achievement, following the club's shock mid-week announcement that coach Justin Holbrook would depart immediately, with assistant Jim Lenihan taking over as interim head coach for the rest of the season.

“It was a really hard week, a shock certainly,” Lenihan told media post-match.

“It was late in the week too on a Thursday so for the boys to process it, go through it and then turn up and put in a good effort like that is really pleasing.

“The place got tipped up on its head for sure this week and the way we dealt with it and came out with a win like that today was pleasing.

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“I think we've been criticised a lot throughout the year for fading away or falling away, so for us to defend our way to a win ... I thought was really pleasing.

“That's what we've got to start working towards and become a side that does that more frequently.”

Lenihan joined the Titans at the end of the 2019 season following a successful stint with Burleigh Bears where he guided the club to two Hostplus Cup premierships in the space of four years.

The former Gold Coast Seagulls, St George and Huddersfield Giants back now has 10 more games in charge to try and steer the Titans into the finals, with the players getting around their new coach.

Jim Lenihan celebrates winning a grand final with Burleigh Bears captain Luke Page in 2019.
Jim Lenihan celebrates winning a grand final with Burleigh Bears captain Luke Page in 2019. ©QRL Photos

Titans winger Phil Sami played two games with Burleigh in 2019 under Lenihan, who coached the Bears in 218 games across two stints at the club.

“Still the same old Jimmy, he’s very passionate,” Sami told

“I remember playing a couple of Cup games [with Burleigh] and he was up in the stands just spraying us and I was like ‘far out’. When he came over here a couple of years ago, he was the same. But all the boys love him for it, he’s just up front and honest. He's been very professional about it.

“He's taking the reins now. Obviously it's unfortunate the way things are panned out, but he'll be professional about it and he’s good.”

Sami – who recently played his 100th NRL game in Round 15 as the Titans proved too strong for the Wests Tigers – agreed that results over the first half of the season had been varied, but felt there was enough depth in the squad to see all players continue to work hard to keep their spots and drive the club forward.

“Yes, 100 percent, we have got depth everywhere in our positions, especially in the outside backs,” Sami said.

“We have players like Ken Maumalo, as many would know, he's a veteran in the game, playing for the Bears.

Phil Sami with the ball for the Titans in the win against Brisbane Broncos.
Phil Sami with the ball for the Titans in the win against Brisbane Broncos. ©Zain Mohammed / NRL Images

“He played 150-plus NRL games.

“He's always on our backsides and he's a good leader for us as well, even though he's not playing … but he's always looking out for us younger boys which is good.

“We also have Keano Kini, everyone knows he's a freak of a kid, playing fullback, I’m sure he’s pushing the boys playing fullback.”

Asked if the upset win against their local rivals would help kick-start a run to the finals, Sami said the team firstly would need to move on from the high of the victory and work on their consistency.

“Backing it up … this win means nothing if we go down to Canberra [in Round 18] and lose,” Sami said.

“This is a step towards where we want to go and just back it up.

“And it's been a pretty inconsistent couple of years, but I feel like we're building something here and we have just got to keep being consistent with our performances and if we can do that, we should be able to pay back the community for keeping faith in us.”

*Burleigh Bears Cup stats via Brad Tallon - QRL statistician 

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