By rights the Gold Coast should not be leading the NRL yet the Titans lived up to their table-topping name by downing Brisbane 12-8.
They say you can prove anything with statistics.
But even the error-riddled Gold Coast Titans were at a loss to explain why they were two games clear on top of the NRL ladder after Friday night’s 12-8 win over arch rivals Brisbane.
However, Titans fullback David Mead did offer one theory – the Gold Coast are simply sick of losing.
On paper, the Gold Coast had no right to be top of the table when they hosted their nemesis.
They led the league in errors, were third worst in completion rate and had the NRL’s fewest linebreaks and tackle busts ahead of the derby.
League historians later dropped the bombshell that the Titans were the first competition leaders in 60 years to have a negative points differential (-9).
And they didn’t exactly prove the doubters wrong when they almost doubled Brisbane’s missed tackles on Friday night – 35 to 20.
Yet the Gold Coast once again emerged triumphant in what Broncos coach Anthony Griffin described as a “bizarre game” to extend their season start to 5-1 – much to coach John Cartwright’s bemusement.
“You look at statistics and obviously they don’t tell the true story,” he said.
“I have read many times this week that we were false leaders or whatever it was.
“But there is something out there that the players are working very hard at but it doesn’t show in statistics.”
Then again, stats have not made pretty reading for the Gold Coast for some time now.
Since hosting the 2010 preliminary final, it has been slim pickings in September for the Titans – a drought highlighted by a dreaded 2011 wooden spoon.
But co-captain Nate Myles noted a renewed spirit when he resumed Titans training after World Cup duty in the 2014 pre-season – one that could not be measured by a stats sheet.
“Everyone has just stepped up a bit at training and away from football,” he said.
“I don’t know what category it comes under but it is starting to show.”
However, Mead reckoned he could put his finger on it.
“Personally I was just sick of losing after not making the top eight over the last three years,” he said.
“You can’t measure intensity or impact of players but that is how we are winning.”
Mead’s desperation showed when he pounced on Broncos halfback Ben Hunt’s 60th minute grubber and raced almost 100m to score, cutting Brisbane’s 8-0 early deficit.
And the Gold Coast sealed a remarkable victory when Titans pivot Aidan Sezer sensationally pick-pocketed out-of-sorts Broncos No.1 Ben Barba in the in-goal to score in the 73rd minute.