Titans captain Ryan James has been challenged by his coach to lift his game. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Titans captain Ryan James has been challenged by his coach to lift his game. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Brennan issues challenge to Titans skipper

GOLD Coast coach Garth Brennan has asked for more from his captain Ryan James as the Titans aim to avoid a fourth successive NRL loss.

The hard-edged forward has managed 696 run metres in seven games this season, compared to in-form teammate Jai Arrow's 1,224 run metres in eight games. James had just nine carries for 58 metres in Saturday's 10-9 loss to Cronulla, while first-year Titans lock Jai Arrow pressed his Origin claims with 18 runs for 188 metres.

James did make 42 tackles in the loss, second only to tireless rake Mitch Rein (47) in the game.

But Brennan has challenged his leader to show more against Canberra as the 12th- placed side aims to improve its 3-5 record.

"Ryan probably does need to step up and lead that team and be that forward leader," Brennan said before Saturday's clash with the Raiders. "Look at Jai Arrow and Jarrod Wallace; they're consistent every week and Ryan needs to take responsibility being our captain and leader.

"He can play well in patches this year, but hasn't put a whole good 80 minutes together in back-to-back weeks."

Ryan James in action against Cronulla. Picture: AAP Image
Ryan James in action against Cronulla. Picture: AAP Image

Rookie coach Brennan has been forced to tinker with his line-up and tactics in the first two months of his reign, with James moving between the front and back row and more recently Bryce Cartwright joining Ash Taylor in the halves.

He said it wasn't ideal for him or the team but that he expected it given he was inheriting a squad mostly assembled by former coach Neil Henry. "There's guys I'm making decisions on as the year progresses and guys off contract ... that I'm assessing," Brennan said.

"Would I like to be more settled? Absolutely but sometimes it is a bit of chopping and changing to see what the best fit for the club is."