Titans out to end slow NRL starts

Their fighting spirit is commendable, but Gold Coast coach Neil Henry knows the Titans can’t afford another slow start in Friday’s NRL derby against Brisbane.

The Titans have made a fine start to the year, winning three from four to be sitting pretty inside the top eight.

Saturday’s 24-20 win over the Raiders was the second week in a row that the Titans have come back from a halftime deficit to claim victory.

While the fightback from an 18-6 deficit in the nation’s capital was pleasing, Henry admits a similar first-half effort against the Broncos is unlikely to generate a similar final result.

“We need to start well and not do that,” Henry said.

“They are a very good defensive side, they don’t concede many points at all. That’s one area we need to get a good start.”

Gold Coast will send playmaker Tyrone Roberts off for scans on Tuesday on his injured knee, but Henry has already admitted the 24-year-old is in real doubt for the clash.

Front-rower Ryan James may also be missing after being hit with a dangerous contact charge on Raider Jordan Rapana by the judiciary.

James will miss a match even with an early guilty plea, so must successfully fight the charge to take on the Broncos.

Henry is in no doubt how important having James available will be, especially given his burgeoning front-row pairing with ex-Queensland State of Origin representative David Shillington.

“They’ve been showing what they can do and I think Ryan James, in particular, has been very good for a few weeks now,” Henry said.

Henry said Shillington had stepped up over the last week, and the derby atmosphere was sure to motivate him further.

“They’re (Broncos) a very big good forward pack so again, we need our big men going forward.”

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