Kevin Proctor moved to the Gold Coast to play finals football but the former Storm back-rower is now concerned that a sixth loss on Friday night will delay that scenario for at least another season.
Sitting in 13th position on the Telstra Premiership ladder with just two wins from their first seven games, the Titans blew a 14-0 lead against the Wests Tigers last Saturday that would have put them within reach of the top eight.
Now Proctor is concerned that if they are unable to bounce back against the Cowboys in Townsville that their hopes for a finals appearance in 2019 will all but disappear.
The Titans have not won at 1300SMILES Stadium since 2012 and are on the end of a seven-game losing streak against North Queensland, a wretched run that Proctor says must end to keep their season off life support.
"This is a turning point in our season. It's a really important time to get the win this weekend,” Proctor told NRL.com.
"They're a desperate footy team as well. They're in the same position as us so we're expecting them to come out with all guns blazing and if we don't we're going to get trampled.
Tackle of the week: Round 7
"We have to bounce back. The season is going to slip away from us if we don't.
“This middle third of the season is real big for us. We didn't start the best so we need to win some games here in this middle period.”
Humiliated by the Eels 51-6 on Easter Monday, the Tigers showed great character to fight back and turn a 14-0 deficit against Gold Coast into a 30-14 win at Tamworth.
It’s the type of spirit the Titans must conjure if they are to forge a new identity.
“We spoke about it for the Tigers and now that's our chance to come back and show what type of team we want to be in 2019,” said prop Jarrod Wallace, who returns from a two-game suspension against the Cowboys.
"We can either be the Titans of old or we can respond and be the Titans of now and that's what we want to do.
"That's been our greatest struggle the last few years. We win one or two games and we think we're going probably a bit better than what we are and then something like what happened on the weekend.
"We're never going to be a top eight, top four team or in contention for the grand final if we're not playing with that consistency.
"Until we do that we'll end up in the bottom all the time.”
Admitting that they took their “foot off the throat” against the Tigers, Gold Coast prop Shannon Boyd says they must prepare for a Cowboys team much better than their position on the ladder indicates.
Try of the week: Round 7
"Everyone can play well and if they do that across the park they're going to be as good as any other team in the comp,” Boyd said of the 15th-placed Cowboys, who hope to welcome Jason Taumalolo back into the team this week.
"They've got a lot of international and Origin players and if they all turn up to play proper, it's going to be a tough game.
“They're all hard but if you can find a lapse in their team for a certain stage and capitalise on it, that's the difference between winning and losing.
"On the weekend we only had a 14-point lead and in the NRL you can't have those lapses because that's what happens.
"We took the foot off the throat at a stage where we should have kept it on them and kept putting points on but we didn't and it came back to bite us on the arse.”