Gold Coast have left North Queensland coach Neil Henry with reportedly just one more chance to keep his job after trouncing the undermanned Cowboys in yesterday's NRL game.
The Titans, with stand-in captain William Zillman scoring a brace, were never headed after opening an early 12-0 lead on their way to a 31-12 victory at Skilled Park.
The defeat leaves Henry needing a win next Saturday against Canterbury to keep his job if a midweek newspaper report is to be believed.
Shorn of State of Origin representatives Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Brent Tate and James Tamou, as well as injured pair Matt Bowen and Gavin Cooper, the Cowboys made a poor start.
In three of their first four sets, Thurston's replacement Michael Morgan fluffed his kick as Zillman and then Mark Minichiello crossed to open up a 12-0 advantage.
The Cowboys settled in to the match but had only Antonio Winterstein's four-pointer to show for it when Zillman broke clear in the 37th minute to send Albert Kelly over before an Aidan Sezer field goal made it 19-4 at halftime to the home team.
The Gold Coast fullback, taking over the leadership role with co-captains Nate Myles and Greg Bird on Origin duty, opened up a healthy lead when a clever inside ball by Dave Taylor sent him clear.
The Cowboys hinted at a comeback when Ashley Graham brilliantly snared a Clint Greenshields grubber and touched down in the corner just before going over the sideline.
But shortly after Minichiello was placed on report for a high tackle, Titans halfback Albert Kelly pounced on a loose Cowboys pass to run 85m and seal the win for the home side.