Tino backing Titans’ defence against Eels

Ed Jackson |

It wasn’t pretty but Gold Coast captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui still thinks there was plenty for the Titans to take from their last-gasp NRL win over Wests Tigers last week.

AJ Brimson’s 78th-minute try secured the Titans an 8-6 win over the hapless Tigers at CBUS Super Stadium and ended a week for the hosts that had been disrupted by COVID-19, injury and their training facilities flooding for the second time in a month.

Fa’asuamaleaui knows the performance will have to improve this Sunday against Parramatta – especially in attack – but said the resolve shown to deny the Tigers a first win of their season was impressive.

“There’s a lot of things we need to improve from that game but the best thing is that there was no tries,” the Titans’ skipper said.

“I know the game was scrappy and that but there was just one try in the 78th minute. It was a good effort from both teams … but there was no tries at the end of the game from our side anyway, so it was good.

“We get confidence from that.”

By a quirk of the fixture list, Sunday’s game will be the second time the Titans have faced the Eels in 2022 already with the teams having played in round one at CommBank Stadium.

Parramatta won that match 32-28 on the back of three second-half penalty goals, with coach Justin Holbrook complaining after the game his team hadn’t had any decisions in their favour from officials due to “not being a big club”.

Fa’asuamaleaui says just like the Tigers game, his team can draw inspiration from their second-half defensive effort against the Eels when the teams clash this weekend.

“They had no tries and it was a close one,” he said.

“Definitely fix some things up from the first half when we first versed them and look to improve this weekend.”

Isaac Liu, Beau Fermor and Phillip Sami are all a chance to return against the Eels after missing last week’s game with COVID-19 but young fullback Jayden Campbell is unlikely to feature as he continues to recover from a rib injury.

That will most likely mean another start for recruit Jamayne Isaako, who debuted against the Tigers just a week after his switch from Brisbane.

“He’s been good, he’s starting to get along with the boys and make jokes,” Fa’asuamaleaui said of Isaako.

“He’s starting to learn our plays which is even better for us for the weekend.

“It’s good having this long turnaround so we can learn a bit more and build that relationship with him.”