Ahhh the Gold Coast. Where sporting careers go to die.
Despite many attempts across various codes, there has yet to be a successful sporting club in the party capital of our great island nation.
Although I have a raging love affection for the Ginger Ninja Matt Rowell, I cannot brag about The Gold Coast Suns, who have still yet to play finals footy in the AFL. Meanwhile, the Gold Coast United left the A-League almost a decade ago.
Then of course, there have been numerous failed Rugby League ventures on the Goldie – RIP to the Chargers, Giants and Seagulls.
No code has yet figured out the impossible algorithm of how to produce a strong sporting franchise on the GC, and perhaps this is because mediocre players has been a common variable throughout.
Let’s now look back on some of the finest mediocre athletes to come out of the Gold Coast, courtesy of the Titans.
Mitch Rein (2018-) – 43 Games, 4 Tries
In a change of pace, I’m going to start this list with a player that still finds themselves on an NRL club’s books.
I usually try and cheekily slide a current player in the middle somewhere, but this time I just could not help myself.
Now Justin Holbrook has done a remarkable job on the Gold Coast in 2020, and is a worthy Coach of The Year in my book………but FOR F**K SAKES CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TEACH MITCH REIN TO THROW THE BALL BACKWARDS!!!!!
When you’re a dummy half and don’t want to be a complete waste of space, all you need to do is pass the ball backwards. Yet somehow, the former Dragon and Panther seemed to throw it forward at least half the time I watched Titans games this season. It simply defied belief.
I can’t believe that just a few years ago, I was advocating for his spot in the NSW Blues side
OK, rant over.
Matt Srama (2011-2016) – 65 Games, 7 Tries
We started with a hooker, and we’ve got another one. Matt Srama is now the man in focus.
The diminutive Number 9 was a handy little player during his time, always game to put his body on the line for his fellow footballers of mediocrity, and the few fans in attendance at home games.
Perhaps the most peculiar thing to come out of my research on Srama, was that after the 2014 NRL Season he signed a deal with the Sydney Roosters, yet backflipped to remain a Titan because of *insert airquotes* money issues.
That’s something you don’t see every day.
Did You Know: In 2012 Matt Srama represented the Philippines, in an 86-0 victory over Thailand to win the inaugural Rugby League Asian Cup Championship?
Dan Sarginson (2017) – 6 Games
The next cab off the rank, in terms of English Super League imports who failed miserably down under, is Dan Sarginson.
As fans of the NRL, we have come to learn that if you want to come over from England and make an impact in our competition, then you’d better do it fast.
Unfortunately for Sarginson, he was the new kid on the block in 2017, but he just did not have the right stuff.
Prior to his arrival on the Gold Coast, he played for his country 3 times between 2014 and 2016. He’s since yet to represent England again.
I’m not saying the Gold Coast Titans killed his career, I’m just implying it.
John Olive (2016-2017) – 9 Games, 2 Tries
Over a space of 5 seasons, bulky centre John Olive was put through his paces at 3 different clubs, the second of which being the Titans, and only managed a total of 13 games.
Those are alarming numbers.
But if you’re an avid reader of THE SET OF SIX...Go on, do it, read ALL my lists...you’re probably gauged by now that every club has got a John Olive story.
The typical journey goes something like this:
Decent junior, cracked a spot in Under-20s Origin and primed for a big future, gets to first grade and makes minimal noise, hampered by injuries, lands at multiple clubs for not very long, and pop goes the weasel career OVER.
That truly was a vividly ugly glance into the reality of so many Mediocre NRL Players of Rugby League’s past, present and future.
Beau Henry (2011-2014) – 8 Games, 9 Goals
Now this bloke suffered quite the fall from grace.
I’m not talking anything sinister mind you. Beau Henry never ended up as front page Daily Telegraph news for public nudity, police assault or any other nefarious actions. His fall from grace was purely based on his on-field form.
Well that, and Wayne Bennett essentially prevented his career from scaling any lengthy heights.
Henry was a promising young halfback at St George, even winning the 2009 Holden Cup Player Of The Year. It was towards the end of his golden year however, that Clint Eastwood’s twin brother convinced Beau not to take up an opportunity at the NQ Cowboys, and stay put at the Red V.
Bennett then rewarded Henry for his loyalty, by picking him in zero games the following season. Two thumbs up for that Wayne.
Anyways Henry moved to the Knights, before in 2012 Bennett, now a Novocastrian, again forced Beau out the door. After this he played a paltry 8 games in 4 seasons for the Titans.
Oh, what could have been?
Leilani Latu (2018-2019) – 9 Games
Ok Titans fans this is the last one, you can get back to planning your 2020 Schoolies outfits soon.
Another who had a significant form dip, especially once arriving on the Gold Coast, Tongan Prop never seemed comfortable at the Sunshine State club.
When at Penrith, Latu was one of the fastest rising big men in the game. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but he was developing his footy nicely, providing quality impact off the bench.
He initially signed a deal that was supposed to last until the end of 2020 at Penrith, yet for some reason things clearly didn’t work out and he moved up north in 2018.
9 games later, and he was gone, and I don’t think either party was too displeased.
Undoubtedly the biggest sufferer of his Titans move was me, when I picked Leilani in my SuperCoach side as a discounted front-row forward cash cow. Needless to say, he turned out to be a bum.
FYI this will not be the last time NRL SuperCoach is mentioned in these lists.
Did we miss anyone out?
Who would be in your Mediocre Titans Set of Six?
Next Up – you hate them, I hate them, and we all hate them: The Manly Sea Eagles