Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has warned a night of horrors awaits the Titans if they don’t improve for Friday’s NRL derby against Brisbane.
The Titans head up the Pacific Motorway sitting just one spot off the bottom of the ladder after four consecutive defeats.
In contrast, the Broncos are top of the table and gunning for their eighth straight win.
Henry has been forced to act after watching last weekend’s humiliating 30-2 flogging by Newcastle.
Giant forward Dave Taylor has been axed, along with new recruits Nathaniel Peteru and Chad Redman. Winger Anthony Don will also miss.
All the changes, as well as the return of five-eighth Aidan Sezer from a hamstring injury, can’t mask the Titans’ appalling history against their rivals.
In their past eight visits to Brisbane, the Titans have lost every time with the past six matches ending in victory margins to the Broncos of 14 points or more.
Henry says there’s the potential for another humbling night for his charges unless they lift their effort.
“It’s going to be a tough night if we don’t control our possession,” Henry said.
“We can’t be completing at around 60 per cent like we were last week and hope to be in a game of footy. We’re not a good enough team to do that.
“If we can control the ball it’s a great challenge for us. It’s one of those ones where we’re struggling and they’re flying at the moment so there’s no better challenge than that.”
The Broncos have been forced to make one starting lineup change with Corey Oates coming on to the wing and Jordan Kahu replacing the suspended Jack Reed in the centres.
Kodi Nikorima has also been included on the bench in place of Matt Parcell.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says despite the two teams’ recent fortunes, he didn’t think an eighth win on the bounce was a done deal.
“It’s never that easy and they’re not going to be coming up here to embarrass themselves,” Bennett said.
“Not when they’re playing a quality football side, playing at a quality venue.
“That’s what you want to do so they’ll relish the opportunity to come and play here.”
BRISBANE v GOLD COAST – Key match stats
* Brisbane have won 13 of 18 matches against Gold Coast, including eight straight against their local rivals at Suncorp Stadium.
* The Broncos have the NRL’s best attack with 413 points from 17 games while the Titans have conceded the most points (436).
* The Broncos 42 points against the Tigers last week was the fourth time this season Brisbane has eclipsed the 40 point mark.