‘Defensive issues’ and ‘leaking points’ are terms Mitch Rein has heard too many times in 2019, and the Titans hooker has declared the Gold Coast must finish with a strong performance against the Dragons on Saturday to build a base for the 2020 season.

Whilst there have been stronger team efforts and improved performances from the Titans in the second half of this season, a brutally honest Rein concedes the playing group “haven’t been up to it” in a disappointing 2019 because of a below-par defensive mindset.

“We just haven’t been able to get it together,” Rein said.

“We could come up with every excuse under the sun, but the truth is we just haven’t been up to it.

“It’s really about our defence aiming up this week.”

The Titans will play the Dragons for the second time in five weeks, and after a 40-28 loss down in Sydney, the former Dragon will be looking to see the scoreboard read differently this Saturday night at Cbus Super Stadium.

“We only played them a few weeks ago, so hopefully this is our week,” Rein said.

“It is bizarre how the schedule works so we’ll know what to expect.

“They just haven’t been able to get it together this year. They’ve got a heap of internationals and Origin players so they are definitely capable.

“We have introduced some new systems and we were able to score some points against them last time so our defence needs to be better.”