Season on the line for struggling Titans
THE Titans admit their season is on the line this week as they prepare for a must-win clash with Cronulla without injured skipper Tyrone Roberts.
Pressure is beginning to build on the Gold Coast after slumping to a 2-6 win-loss record to start the season which sees them languishing at third-last on the premiership table.
It comes as coach Garth Brennan has made a number of changes to his squad following last week's 28-14 loss to the Cowboys in Townsville.
Titans head of performance and culture Mal Meninga said Thursday night's Magic Round opener was significant in keeping their finals hopes alive.
"It's a very important game on Thursday night to kick off the Magic Round," Meninga said.
"We've got to kick our season off again.
"Even though they lost (against the Cowboys), I thought it was one of their better performances this year so I think we're on the up."
Gold Coast face a Cronulla side brimming with confidence following their narrow win over the Melbourne Storm last week.
Winger Anthony Don admitted his side was looking at Thursday's game with a do-or-die attitude.
"Our season is almost on the line this week and that's the way we're viewing it," he said.
"It's a massive game for us.
"I can't wait to get up there and open the Magic Round.
"We've had a lot of experience at Suncorp.
"It's another game but our season is getting away from us if we don't start winning.
"We know how big and important a game this is on Thursday night."
The Titans will be looking to improve on their previous performance against Cronulla, after going down 20-6 at Shark Park in Round 2 this year.
They've already suffered a huge blow with the omission of captain and five-eighth Tyrone Roberts this week, who has been ruled out with a head knock injury.
Second-rower Kevin Proctor will take the reins to lead the side for the first time since 2017.
Young gun AJ Brimson will take Roberts' place in the halves while Jesse Arthars is set to make his NRL debut after being named in the No.14 jersey.
Dale Copley returns from injury and will play on the wing in place of Phillip Sami, who has been sidelined for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
Despite the club being cruelled by injuries so far this season, Meninga said he was proud of the players' intent during matches.
"It's a tough game rugby league," he said.
"Obviously, we want to be winning games but if we keep playing with that sort of intent and the purpose, particularly the way they attacked, all goes well for the future."