Coach friendships go on hold for NRL final

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Justin Holbrook knows he wouldn't be the NRL coach he is now without Trent Robinson's guidance but when Gold Coast face the Sydney Roosters on Saturday that friendship is going on hold.

Holbrook was Robinson's right-hand man at the Roosters before leaving to take over as head coach of St Helens in the English Super League in 2017.

Since returning to Australia before last season, Holbrook has faced his former mentor twice with the Titans losing both games to the Roosters.

He's hoping it'll be third time lucky when the Titans make their first finals appearance since 2016 against Robinson's Roosters in an elimination clash in Townsville on Saturday.

"I learnt a lot off Trent. He's such an intelligent guy and knows how much information the players need to get which is a tricky point for a lot of coaches," Holbrook said.

"You can try and overload players with information and Trent as a coach takes a lot of information in but doesn't give a lot out. I learned that was probably a really good point and trait.

"He's done such a good job for such a number of years and that's why, with the players they've had out, they haven't really missed a beat.

"I've got a lot to thank from Trent but obviously I'll do my best to beat him tomorrow night."

A crowd of Titans' fans gave their heroes rounds of applause as they came onto the field at an open training session on Friday, reflecting their joy at long-awaited success following years of underachievement.

Holbrook is in a bullish mood heading into the match, confident their season can extend another week with his team fit and firing following last Sunday's club record 44-0 hiding of the Warriors to claim eighth spot and earn a shot at the fifth-place Roosters.

"We've been playing to try and win, obviously, the last five games," Holbrook said.

"We haven't always got there. The Newcastle one was a good example. We learned a lot out of that.

"A lot of little moments in the game that we didn't handle great, we fell just short and we obviously went a long way rectifying that last week.

"We've got to do it again. We're really confident.

"We know it's going to be hard, that's why you're in the finals, but we want that and we're confident if we play well we can win tomorrow night. That's all we can ask."

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