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Slow starts haunting Titans in NRL

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/04/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Gold Coast coach Neil Henry has urged his team to fix up their slow starts if they are to arrest their worrying four-game NRL slide.

The Titans looked set to ride a wave of momentum and consolidate their spot in the top eight after coming back from 12 points down to force extra time in Saturday afternoon's clash with Canterbury.

But Henry's men fell at the final hurdle, Tyrone Roberts' field-goal attempt just sailing wide to hand the Bulldogs a seven-tackle set that ended in Josh Reynolds potting a 35-metre game-winner.

After a bright start to the year, the Titans are clinging onto their spot in the top eight and need to address giving up early leads ahead of next week's game against Melbourne.

Saturday's clash was the seventh straight game they had conceded first points.

"We're still slow to get out of the blocks - that's frustrating," Henry said.

"We showed some real dominance at times with our forwards in the middle against a quality team, (so) the boys can hold their heads up high with that performance.

"But at the end of the day, we haven't got two competition points."

Henry said the losses hadn't sapped the team of any confidence just yet.

"The boys in there are okay. They're dejected because we're not getting the win but I think they've been up to the task and been competitive every week," he said.

"We need to use these games as a learning curve for our boys moving forward. But we need to get a complete first 40 minutes out. We haven't done that this year."

Titans skipper Nathan Friend also pointed out some disturbing defensive reads against the Bulldogs which needed to be fixed.

"It's our structural errors in defence that are really costing us. We had three errors on short sides today that we just need to show confidence within each other and they don't get to a lead like that," he said.

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