Not even a suspected serious knee injury to captain Ryan James could wipe the smile off Gold Coast coach Garth Brennan's face after the Titans' 38-14 NRL romp over Newcastle on Sunday.
The Gold Coast's six-tries-to-three rout of an error-riddled Knights at Cbus Super Stadium appeared to have come at a huge cost for Brennan.
He lost Keegan Hipgrave (back) on the morning of the game before fellow forward Kevin Proctor (hip/quad) pulled out following the pre-match warm-up.
But the real blow looked to have come in the 12th minute when inspirational forward James was left writhing in pain clutching his right knee.
The NSW Origin hopeful was assisted from the field after coming off second best sliding into Knights hooker Danny Levi while trying to pounce on a Titans kick.
Brennan said the full extent of the injury would not be known until scans on Tuesday but predicted a dire diagnosis for his skipper.
"It doesn't look good. He was in a fair bit of pain," said Brennan, who confirmed pivot Tyrone Roberts would take over the captaincy.
"Fingers crossed it is just an impact injury but the doctor who looked at it is concerned."
The loss of James will test the Titans' forward depth with their Queensland prop Jarrod Wallace still to serve another week on the sidelines due to a two game ban for a dangerous throw.
Yet it seemed nothing could bring Brennan down as he reflected on the Titans' first back-to-back home wins since 2017, even finding humour in James' injury.
"It (James' injury) would be a blow but he is a big sook sometimes so maybe he was just carrying on," Brennan laughed.
"But look, I am expecting Hipgrave and Proctor back next week and I have the utmost faith in guys like Jack Stockwell, Moeaki Fotuaika and Jai Whitbread.
"We've got depth and guys who want to put their hands up and grab a spot."
Brennan dipped his hat to his depleted pack after they stood up to meet the challenge posed by the late withdrawals and James' early departure.
Australian Associated Press