Titans staring down worst ever season
Ash Taylor's return to the NRL has been marred by a 58-6 demolition job to the Roosters in the Gold Coast's biggest loss in the past three seasons.
The Titans are staring down the barrel of their worst ever season record and the appointment of new coach Justin Holbrook can't come soon enough for the struggling club.
In front of 9,763 fans at the SCG, the Titans were simply outclassed and outdone by the Roosters who have made a bold statement for this year's premiership.
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Taylor made his much-anticipated return to the NRL after taking two months off to address personal issues and it was a mixed afternoon for the 24-year-old.
He made three errors and failed to kick a penalty over the sideline but he did seem far more confident with the ball in hand.
He was criticised earlier in the season for not running the ball and on Sunday, he took the line on six times for 51 running metres and even managed to break a tackle.
It was always going to be a tough return up against the Roosters but the Titans simply lacked the energy and pace to keep up with the home side to slump to their biggest losing margin since the 54-0 defeat to the Broncos in Round 22, 2017.
The Titans now sit on just four wins for the season and are on track to finish the year with their worst win-loss ratio in club history.
The 2011 Titans finished the year with just six victories and this year's side face Melbourne, Newcastle and Parramatta in the next five games.
Winning was never entirely expected of the club since punting their former coach Garth Brennan but their attitude had to change.
Since Brennan's departure, the Gold Coast have conceded a whopping 124 points in three games and showed little signs of life.
Holbrook's arrival at the club can't come soon enough for the struggling Titans as they continue to search for a winning culture.
Their loss yesterday was compounded by a hamstring injury to veteran fullback Michael Gordon he suffered in the first half.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel for the hapless Titans, with star forward Jai Arrow on track to return next week.
It took the Roosters just five minutes to open the scoring after fullback James Tedesco sprinted onto an offload to score under the posts.
For the next 15 minutes, it was nothing but the Brett Morris show as the talented Roosters winger crossed on three occasions to bring up 152 NRL tries.
A Daniel Tupou try just before halftime extended their lead out to 28-0 and it didn't stop there.
The tricolours ran riot in the second stanza, with Tedesco scoring a second, Latrell Mitchell becoming the first player this year to reach 200 points following his double, and youngster Sam Verrills scoring his first try in the NRL.
The Titans were able to get on the board through Ryley Jacks in the 66th minute but did little else to worry the home side.
TITANS v ROOSTERS: FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
1. New Gold Coast coach Justin Holbrook might want brush up on his defibrillator knowledge so he can inject some life back into the club. The Titans lacked energy and enthusiasm against a classy Roosters team which ran riot at the SCG. Wins were never truly expected from the club since Garth Brennan was punted but letting in 130 points in the past three games suggests a lack of effort.
2. The Titans were put on notice by interim coach Craig Hodges, who declared "all positions are vacant" after their loss to Melbourne. Judging by Sunday's performance, the players should be worried after they missed 30 tackles and made 700 less running metres than the Roosters.
3. It was a mixed return to the NRL for Titans halfback Ash Taylor. The 24-year-old faced a formidable challenge coming up against the Roosters but showed signs that his confidence is steadily returning. He ran the ball more often and was far more vocal but made three errors and failed to find the sideline for a penalty kick.
4. With nothing left to play for, the Titans should chance their hand a bit more because nothing else seems to be working. Ryley Jacks' try in the 66th minute proved just that when some quick passing with Phillip Sami allowed him to score under the posts.
5. Gold Coast fullback Michael Gordon faces another stint on the sideline after injuring his hamstring. The club will welcome back star forward Jai Arrow next week against the Dragons in what will be a massive boost for the lacklustre side.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS 58 (B Morris 3 L Mitchell 2 J Tedesco 2 C Cronk D Tupou S Verrills tries L Mitchell 9 goals) bt GOLD COAST 6 (R Jacks try A Taylor goal) at Sydney Cricket Ground. Referee: Peter Gough, Liam Kennedy. Crowd: 9,763