Defence key to Titans’ top-eight hopes
GOLD Coast coach Garth Brennan has demanded his team become known for their defence rather than attack as the Titans prepare to challenge for finals footy.
It's an important year for the club, who have at last got their ducks in a row on and off the field. For many, anything less than a top eight position would now be considered a failure.
It's clear where Brennan expects their biggest improvement to come from.
The Titans have been one of the most brittle teams without the ball for the past two NRL seasons, conceding more than 25 points a game in a record that is worse than all of their rivals bar Newcastle.
"Brenno is clear in what he wants and that is to play well defensively and keep hold of the ball and compete," said forward Max King.
"The task is simple, it's just getting out there and doing it."
The 21-year-old, who will line up at lock in the Titans' trial against North Queensland on Saturday, believes tackling guru Trevor Gillmeister has made inroads.
"He's been awesome in terms of improving our first contact," King said.
"The boys have been ripping in, there have been some decent sessions there throughout the pre-season where it's been decent bash ups. I think there will be an improvement in that and I think everyone will be looking to improve considering the competitiveness for spots.
"(The problem last year) wasn't just missed tackles, it was also reading defences and we have done a lot of that - a lot of opposed blocks against each other, reading each other's defence and whether to shoot or whether to stay."
King will be opposite Jason Taumalolo at Sunshine Coast Stadium but insists there will be no mental scars related to his first game back from a fourth shoulder operation.
"I'm probably on the other side of it where I'm a bit too reckless with coming back early … once the specialist and the physio give me the green light, I've got full confidence in them," he said.