Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The Gold Coast Titans made their return to the finals in 2021 after a five-year absence, finishing progressing to eighth on the ladder on the final day of the regular season before being eliminated from the competition the following week in a heartbreaking loss to the Sydney Roosters.
Justin Holbrook’s side will now look to achieve a feat that has eluded them for 12 years, making the finals two years in a row.
In terms of signings, the club has not broken the bank as they did in 2021, opting to put their faith in the current squad whilst only making a couple of additions.
Aaron Booth has only played a handful of games in the NRL but did enough to make a name for himself as a prospect at the Melbourne Storm in 2021.
The 26-year-old is older than most promising athletes but only missed out on a real chance to prove himself in Melbourne due to the club’s depth at hooker, an issue that should not impact Booth to the same extent at the Titans.
Isaac Liu will bring plenty of big-game experience to the Titans in 2022, as the 30-year-old has consistently appeared for the Sydney Roosters since debuting for the club in 2013.
One could argue that the Titans already boast a solid forward pack, which they do; however, they also have a young forward pack that will only benefit from a veteran such as Liu joining their ranks.
The loss of Tyrone Peachey at the end of last season left the Titans without a player that could cover a variety of positions, that is until they signed Will Smith.
Smith should walk straight into the bench utility role at the Titans, as his ability to play anywhere in the spine will be a valuable asset to the club.
Whangarei native Paul Turner created a buzz around himself after impressing on his NRL debut for the New Zealand Warriors in 2020 but failed to hold down a spot in first grade through injury.
He is now fully fit and at his new club, the Titans, who may look to Turner if Toby Sexton doesn’t develop into a consistent first-grade talent or AJ Brimson struggles with a move back into the halves.
QUESTIONS HEADING INTO 2022
WILL DAVID FIFITA IMPROVE?
Titans million dollar man David Fifita displayed glimpses of his potential throughout 2021, with purple patches of form during many a game that weren’t maintained for nearly long enough.
Fifita can single-handedly win games for the Titans if he can perform at a high level consistently in 2022.
CAN CAMPBELL AND SEXTON MEET EXPECTATIONS?
Jayden Campbell and Toby Sexton made their respective debuts for the Titans last season, playing a combined 11 games for the club.
Despite their inexperience, both players have earned themselves a starting spot in the club’s spine, with Queensland State of Origin representative AJ Brimson being moved to the halves to accommodate Campbell and Jamal Fogarty moved on from the club to accommodate Sexton.
The Titans have invested a lot in these two and will be hoping they don’t succumb to the dreaded second-year syndrome.
1. Jayden Campbell
2. Greg Marzhew
3. Patrick Herbert
4. Brian Kelly
5. Corey Thompson
6. AJ Brimsom
7. Toby Sexton
8. Moeaki Fotuaika
9. Erin Clark
10. Jarrod Wallace.
11. David Fifita
12. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui ©
13. Isaac Liu
14. Will Smith
15. Jaimin Jolliffe
16. Kevin Proctor
17. Beau Fermor