Titans brace for crucial Dragons clash

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Gold Coast Titans began the 2022 season with high expectations, but now Saturday's Magic Round game with the St George Illawarra looms as a critical juncture in their campaign.

After ending a four-year finals exile in Justin Holbrook's second season in charge in 2021, the Titans have flattered to deceive this year.

Their gamble to opt for a young spine of lightweight fullback Jayden Campbell, five-eighth AJ Brimson and 21-year-old halfback Toby Sexton has not been the instant hit the club were hoping for.

Next year the Titans will have veteran Kieran Foran on deck, but in the meantime they need to get their season back on track.

Campbell's father, Titans great Preston Campbell, has pointed to the success his former club Penrith has had in sticking with a young spine.

While they wore the hits early on, the likes of Panthers halves Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai have reached the last two grand finals and were crowned premiers last year.

"It all comes down to confidence and belief in themselves," Campbell told AAP.

"They have got a roster which can do really well.

"It's one of those things, Penrith didn't have too many big names but now they just ooze confidence and they have become the stars of the game.

"They trust in each other and it helps that they've played together for a long time. Clubs dream of being in that position that Penrith are as a team."

The Gold Coast have just two wins from their opening nine games and Holbrook has brought in fresh faces to help end their five-game winless streak.

Philip Sami returns on the wing, Jarrod Wallace starts in the front row, Issac Liu moves to the back row and Esan Marsters comes in at centre.

Marsters made his New Zealand Test debut in 2018 but, after an ill-fated move to North Queensland Cowboys, has struggled for game time since arriving at the Gold Coast last year.

"It has been tough for the boys for the past couple of weeks," Marsters said.

"It's exciting to be back and the boys that have come in, like myself, we really have to help the team this week to get back on track."

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting