Cameron Smith calls out Gold Coast Titans after 22-year first following Dolphins loss

The Titans have started 2024 with three losses with Des Hasler seeking answers.

NRL great Cameron Smith has questioned the ongoings at the Gold Coast Titans after a disastrous start to the season for Des Hasler and the club, which has seen them start with a -72 points differential after three games. Hasler joined the Titans knowing it would be a huge job to turn them into top eight contenders after a tough 2023 season.

However, after four rounds, it appears the Titans have taken over as favourites for the wooden spoon after three abysmal performances that has seen them concede 90 points across three games. The Titans have also become the first NRL team in 22 years to concede at least 28 points in eight straight games - stretching back to 2023 - as their woes continue.

Des Hasler talks to the players and Cameron Smith during commentary.
NRL great Cameron Smith (pictured right) has questioned the players and club after the Gold Coast Titans and Des Hasler lost their thirst straight game to start 2024. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)

Hasler was seen on the dressing room cameras infuriated as he addressed the players after the team's loss on the weekend. And NRL great Smith has questioned how the Titans' defence has capitulated in 2024. "The other night, it looked like they were finally going to get their first victory...they just can't seem to put 80 minutes together," Smith said on SEN Radio.

"It's surprising because I think a lot of people, including myself, thought Dessie Hasler was going up there and he was going to change a fair few things, about their football and their mindset and their mental toughness...but it hasn't changed. "I don't know if these players are still adjusting, I have heard some comments around they don't quite understand how to play Des Hasler football at the moment. But how long do they need?"

"They've had an entire pre-season to get ready...they just can't put a performance together at the moment where they can get a victory." Smith's comments come after footage showed Hasler appearing to rip into the Titans in their loss to the Dolphins.

Des Hasler appears to let rip at team in post-match talk

Hasler was left deflated in the post-match press conference having offered no excuses for another loss and a defence that doesn't appear to be improving. “I can line up the excuses, a list that long, but what’s the point... again we’ve leaked 30 points,” Hasler said after the match. “You could probably copy and paste last week. We’re not putting two halves together, we’re not executing well.

“In that first half we had a great opportunity to put them away, to put them to the sword. They had one in the sin bin and we came up with three dropped balls. We just can’t build any pressure. We’re not good enough yet, we’re still growing. Defensively we need to not put ourselves under so much pressure and it’s all to do with our attack. It’s inexcusable that we’re turning over possession. We have to get better, we have to put two halves together. There’s enough there that we’re showing, we just have to get better at it. There’s plenty there to build on.

“We start well, create some good platforms and then we give it all away. And it’s not going to get easier.” The Dolphins player the Cowboys next week in another brutal contest for the winless club.