Justin Holbrook is doing well to hide his excitement at what Gold Coast will be like with David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.
Favourites for their second straight wooden spoon at the start of the season, the Titans are now surely the No.1 team to watch for 2021 outside of this year’s finals.
And in fact, if this was a normal length 25-round season, the Titans could probably have pushed for a finals berth this year on form.
Saturday’s 42-24 pounding marked their fourth straight win, the most the club has strung together since 2014.
The points they put on Manly was the equal-most the club has scored in one match, and that came with just 48 per cent possession and two players on the bench after halftime.
And that’s also with a side that’s still set to welcome two of the game’s best young guns into their pack for next season.
“As a coach you always want to get going straight away,” Holbrook said when asked if the turnaround had come quicker than expected in his first year.
“But that wasn’t to be, it took us a while.
“We had a lot of new combinations in Jamal Fogarty, Corey Thompson and Young Tonumaipea. All the guys who weren’t at our club until the season started.”
Gold Coast haven’t played in the finals since 2016.
It’s been even longer since their sole victory in a finals match, way back in 2010.
But with Holbrook, there must surely now be some belief.
It’s also no surprise the resurgence has come with AJ Brimson’s return from a back injury.
He scored a double on Saturday, making it five tries and 29 tackle busts in the eight games since the Titans took the cautious path with his comeback.
It makes for another frightening prospect if he’s fully fit at the back in 2021.
“I love AJ, we had him right in November-December and he was struggling a bit and we had to back right off,” Holbrook said.
“The long-term for him was to pull him out of everything and wait until he was 100 per cent.
“We did the right thing to hold him back and he’s just an exciting player. I love having him in our side.”