Broken Titans keep finding a way to win
It's hard to put the Titans puzzle together when all the pieces keep getting bent out of shape but Garth Brennan's side are making it work.
Just when Gold Coast's injury-riddled season looked like easing up, the rugby league gods deemed fit to rule out Keegan Hipgrave on Saturday morning (back), lay Kevin Proctor low during the warm-up and add skipper Ryan James to the casualty ward after a 12th minute knee injury during their Round 6 clash with Newcastle.
The trio joined Jarrod Wallace (suspension) and Nathan Peats (pectoral injury) on the sidelines, sparking yet another reshuffle in the Titans pack and yet another selection headache for next weekend.
"It doesn't look good … he was in a fair bit of pain," Brennan said of James' injury.
"We'll have scans down on Tuesday but from all reports it's not positive"
But that headache can wait, especially given the manner in which Gold Coast resurrected their season on Easter Sunday.
In the dance of the desperates, the hosts came out hungrier and posted 26 unanswered points over the Knights before running out 38-14 victors to go back to back for the first time since Round 15-16 2018.
Brennan said the most pleasing aspect wasn't that they won but how they did it - the tough way.
"It's probably that gutsy effort. We had some adversity there today (Sunday) and we were up against it losing Keegan hipgrave this morning with a back and then kevin Proctor in the warmup and then obviously Ryan James early in the game.
You look at Kevin Proctor who normally plays 80 minutes and Ryan usually plays just about 80 so it put a lot of strain on our bench and a lot of our bench haven't played a lot of footy. I was really really proud of the performance."
In a match where every Titans stood tall, Brennan made special notes of Tyrone Peachey's role as Mr Fix-It.
The former Panther shifted across the paddock plugging holes on the right edge to combat Gold Coast's dwindling numbers and his coach wasn't shy about offering his support for Peachey's Origin tilt.
"Instead of having a utility on the bench like most teams have, I've just got mine in the starting team," breanna said of Peachey.
"I'm sure Freddy (Brad Fittler) will be watching today seeing that he is the best utility in the game and (that) he has to be in (his) origin team."
It wasn't the most polished performance in history but the Titans out-enthused Newcastle and took their opportunities when it mattered.
Up 2-0 after an early Michael Gordon penalty, Gold Coast suddenly found themselves ahead by 8 after a Knights error saw Mitch Rein spark a counter-attack finished by the fleet-footed Philip Sami in the left corner.
Their second try came in similar fashion when Daniel Saifiti coughed it up in contact 40m out and Brimson had the presence of mind to swing it to halves partner Roberts who sliced back infield and under the sticks for the easiest of tries.
Roberts also played a crucial hand in setting up Brian Kelly's 37th minute try after forcing consecutive goal line dropouts and would've entered the halftime sheds as the Titans' best aside from Shannon Boyd, who moved mountains in the absence of regular metre eaters James, Proctor and Wallace.
Newcastle's errors in contact continued to plague them after the break with Connor Watson and Mitchell Pearce bombing certain tries and when Dale Copely collected an Edrick Lee spill and fed Anthony Don for his 71st career try, the Titans looked well and truly home.
A late flurry saw Newcastle close the gap to 28-14 but two late tries to Tyrone Roberts and Michael Gordon put the result beyond doubt.