2017 is fast becoming (if it is not already) THE most disappointing year in Titans’ history.
Actually you can throw Chargers and Seagulls history in there as well.
Not since Prince, Campbell and Bailey had the young Titans on the cusp of a grand final had there been the aura of excitement and hope as there was on the Gold Coast this summer.
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There was something new as well – expectation.
Never before had a Gold Coast Titans list been assembled that was so choc-full of talent and potential.
Hayne was the big fish, the bona fide marquee talent that at his best can tear games apart and lead a team all the way to a grand final, as he did in 2009 with the Eels.
Then there was the workhorse hooker Nathan Peats, whom we got for a relative steal from Parramatta.
Many suspected the classy rake had the talent to play at the origin level, and what do you know, despite missing half the season, he got the call up and put on a commanding 80 minute performance.
….shame he doesn’t get those kinds of minutes at club level.
But Henry was not finished.
Next came the imposing international star backrower brimming with experience – I think it is safe to say Kevin Proctor has not delivered on any front thus far.
Hell bent on his search for a list that could challenge for a Top 4 berth in 2017, Henry lured up and coming front rower Jarrod Wallace to the club from Brisbane.
Throw in two newly-arrived international centres, in Sarginson and Hurrell, and Henry was getting kudos left right and centre for his savvy list built in the post-DCEgate era.
Don’t forget he already had at his disposal the best young halves pairing in the competition, not to mention the reigning 2016 Dally M Prop of the Year in Ryan James.
Finals was a foregone conclusion, it was just a matter of how high.
Remember that sentiment Gold Coast?
So what happened Henry?
How did the best Titans list ever assembled go from Top 4 aspirant to languishing down the bottom of the ladder at 13th with just 4 wins from 13 games?
You can maybe blame two losses on injuries, but two is not nine and losses like Saturday’s embarrassment at the hands of New Zealand (at home!) remain unexplainable for the outside observer looking in.
Origin hooker, gun young halves pairing, dominant starting props, marquee fullback – that is pretty much all the Storm have had (more even) for the last decade and they can’t get out of the Top 4!
If the Titans are not careful it will not just be 2017 that they lose, they will also cede the likes of Ash Taylor and even Peats to clubs that can promise (and back up the promise of) success.