If history’s any guide, St George Illawarra couldn’t face a better opponent to quickly end their NRL scoring drought than Gold Coast this weekend.
The Titans have handed their opponents leads inside the opening 20 minutes in five of their six matches in 2016, including a three-try blitz by Cronulla last weekend at Shark Park.
While the Titans have twice been able to overcome slow starts to claim victories, co-captain Will Zillman knows playing so much catch-up football is far from ideal.
“It won’t be a surprise to anyone that’s something we’ve discussed,” Zillman said.
“On the weekend they got that early try and it wasn’t necessarily the fact they scored first, it was the fact that then they put two and three tries on us very quickly.
“It’s always hard to comeback, I think 14-0 we were down. Something we’ve addressed and we just need to start better.”
While Gold Coast’s problem has been preventing points, the Dragons issue is clearly scoring them.
In six matches Paul McGregor’s men have a paltry 40 points, easily the competition’s lowest haul so far.
They’re also facing the ignominy of becoming just the second team in Australian league history after Cronulla in 2014 to go three straight matches without scoring after drawing blanks against North Queensland and Brisbane in the past fortnight.
Zillman though believes it’s only a matter of time until a team boasting the creative talents of ex-New Zealand captain Benji Marshall and NSW State of Origin fullback Josh Dugan finds its attacking grove.
“They’ve got guys along the whole backline there that can hurt us – can hurt any team,” Zillman said.
“We’re very much going to have to be on our game this Saturday.”
SLOW STARTING TITANS – Gold Coast’s record in the first 20 minutes of matches this year
Rd 1 v Knights (home) – led 10-0 (won)
Rd 2 v Storm (away) – trailed 4-6 (lost)
Rd 3 v Tigers (home) – trailed 10-0 (won)
Rd 4 v Raiders (away) – trailed 12-0 (won)
Rd 5 v Broncos (home) – trailed 4-0 (lost)
Rd 6 v Sharks (away) – trailed 14-0 (lost)
Points scored: 14
Points conceded: 46