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Gold Coast Titans, Justin Holbrook, future, rookie spine, Toby Sexton, AJ Brimson, Jayden Campbell, Jamal Fogarty, Erin Clark, 2023, Billy Moore Fox League Podcast

Queensland great Titans coach Justin Holbrook believes his decision to gamble on a rookie spinner this season will pay off.

Gold Coast advanced to the second week of the finals last season but endured a nightmare campaign in 2022.

The Titans have won just three games and a loss to the 14th-ranked Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon could keep them atop the standings.

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Their struggles come after the club released veteran half-back and club captain Jamal Fogarty to the Raiders in the summer in favor of a rookie half-back.

Holbrook then moved AJ Brimson from fullback to five-eighth with Fogarty’s replacement Toby Sexton in the halves.

That leaves junior Jayden Campbell to play fullback, while unproven rookie Erin Clark rounds out the 2022 spine.

It saw the Titans start the season with the most inexperienced spine in the NRL.

Holbrook hopes Sea Eagles veteran half-back Kieran Foran will join the club next season, unlocking Sexton’s potential.

Titans coach Justin Holbrook. / Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

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Moore admits that $1.2 million backstop David Fifita hasn’t helped them at all, but says their inexperienced spine is behind their downfall this season.

“The crux of the problem with the Titans was they were rolling the dice on the smallest spine in the comp, so I want to know who made the decision,” Moore told the Fox League podcast.

“If Holbrooke made that decision last year and said, ‘Let’s go with this young spine, I can teach,’ then the ax fell on him.

“If not, let the sword fall on someone else’s head. I would like to know the logic behind the decision because in the end the young spine is yet to come.

But I will say this, Toby Sexton can play. If he has a good winger and that’s what you want Kieran Foran to do next year, he can play that kid.

“We talk about Tom Durden, it’s not too far from the conversation if Toby Sexton shows how to play and that’s what Chad Townsend did for Tom Durden.”

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The Titans fired their assistant coach and director of strength and conditioning last month.

If Holbrook follows suit, he will be the third head coach to be sacked on the Gold Coast in the last five years, but Moore is confident he will get the axe.

“I think he’ll get another season there because, and I’m not entirely clear on who made the call on the spine, because the owners don’t want to turn (coaches),” he said.

“Paul Green is more likely to fill that position but I don’t think they’re going to pull that trigger for a while.

“I know you’ll really want to see what Kieran Foran does with Sexton because AJ is really a fullback, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Jayden Campbell. Erin Clark looks like she’s 13 years old.

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