Titans fullback Michael Gordon.

Retiring veteran Michael Gordon may not have walked away a winner in his final game but he left a lasting legacy at the Titans with the sort of 'effort play' which summed up his 14-year career.

Gordon brought down the curtain on his 261-game career in the Titans' 24-16 loss to fellow cellar dwellers the Dragons on Saturday night, leaving coach Craig Hodges to lament "the biggest shame of the night was that we weren't able to send him out a winner".

As the Titans' younger brigade look to turn around the club's fortunes in 2020 they could do worse than watch a replay of Gordon's trysaving tackle on Josh Kerr in the second half which came just seconds after he had tracked down a runaway Jonus Pearson on the opposite side of the field.

"That trysaving tackle summed up Mick perfectly," Hodges said.

"They made the line break down our right edge and he comes across and makes a tackle and then he sprints across and is there to hold up the Dragons player on the other side of field.

"If he had walked for the first two metres or had a jog [after the first tackle] he wouldn't have made it and that effort summed up his whole career - a career built on effort.

"The club has been pretty blunt that those are the sort of things they are going to value and could keep people in positions so everybody has an opportunity to show whether they are willing to do that.

"Young guys like AJ Brimson and Tanah [Boyd] and Mo [Fotuaika] have a chance to learn that stuff from the very beginning and that's really important.

"Some of the guys in the middle of their careers have a decision to make on how they want to finish the back end of their careers.

"They can coast through being well paid and live a good life or you can knuckle down and everything is done five or 10 percent better at training and five or 10 percent better in preparation and they'll find themselves making those sort of efforts that Mick made tonight."

After a solid first-half performance the Titans went to the break at 6-all and Hodges said the vibe in the sheds was positive.

"The boys said all the right things and we showed some good grit at the start of the second half but it was typical of our season that we couldn't quite finish things off," Hodges said.

"We dropped the ball over the line once and had some other chances. We have to work too hard for tries to give those things up.

"When the opposition does take advantage of their opportunities they go to 12-6 or 18-10 and they open up a gap on us and we don't get to do that to the opposition."

Hodges is confident that the arrival of Justin Holbrook as head coach will allow the club to start restoring pride after winning just four games this season.

"Hopefully the freshness of Justin coming in is a good thing for the players," Hodges said.

"There's some big decisions to be made by management.

"The next 18 months worth of recruitment and retention decisions will shape the next generation of Titans success or failure."