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The key to unlocking the Titans halves

Five games in with a brand new halves combination, Justin Holbrook has absolutely no issues with how his young playmakers are continuing to develop.

Happy to accept AJ Brimson and Toby Sexton just need time having only played first grade together for the last month now, the Gold Coast coach knows the pair will be a work in progress as they continue to learn each others' games and combine on the field, complimenting their more than healthy 'bromance' off it.

The Titans mentor was especially pleased with Brimson putting his foot down and taking control in the second 40 against the Eels, hoping the 23-year-old can get his hands on the ball more after finishing the game with two try assists from classy kicks. 

"That's what we need from him and I thought he showed that in the second half," Holbrook said.

"But it comes back to the combinations and the flow of game and getting an understanding of each other and things like that.

"So we're going to get better and I thought AJ had a real good second half, so we need more of it."

"He plays so well from a team point of view, but I sort of want him to get his hands on the ball more because he's so dangerous. He's got to maintain it, but he's going well."

Nine games in as an NRL halfback, the Titans coach has been quite pleased with Sexton's start to the 2022 season, knowing he's only going to get more and more involved as the season progresses.

"I'm happy with Toby. I think he's started really well," Holbrook said.

"I think maybe he's not playing as much as you'd like and he's maybe a little bit conservative, which we've spoken about, but all-in-all, I think he's controlling the games really well for us and AJ has strung a few games together now which is good.

"Obviously we've still Jamayne (Isaako) at fullback, so it's it's not been the easiest when you're trying to direct a side around with positional changes in those key roles.

"But for us to be in the mix every game, I think that's a good indication that Toby's handling it really well for us at No. 7."

As a former halfback himself, Holbrook knows it's going to take time for the 21-year-old to hit his straps as the primary playmaker, but the mature youngster is already showing plenty of growth week-in, week-out.

"When you're inexperienced, you're doing everything for the first time, and you don't change that until you get experience. So, that's happening every week for him," Holbrook said.

"I'm expecting him to just keep on getting better and by the back sort of third of the year, I think we'll have really good combinations.

"For the here and now, we're going to have to do enough to rack up some wins to keep us in the mix."

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.