Nathan Peats meets him former team for the first time since his mid season departure from the Eels amidst the salary cap drama that engulfed the club. Peats will be looking to lead his new team the Gold Coast Titans to maintain their spot in the Top 8 with a strong win against the Parramatta Eels on Saturday afternoon football..

LAST TIME OUT

The Gold Coast Titans made a statement with a 20 point win over the Dragons at Kogarah Oval, in the process moving into the Top 8 and improving their hopes of playing finals football in 2016. The Titans young halves guided their exciting young side around the park and punished the Dragons for their continual errors throughout the clash. The win was even more pivotal for the Titans season as the victory was against a fellow top 8 aspirant.

The Parramatta Eels put in another inspiring performance last Sunday afternoon, even after more controversy and setbacks with the Corey Norman incident. The Eels blew Penrith off the park early to jump out to a early lead. Injuries and a swing in possession saw them eventually overrun by the Panthers outfit but the courage and tenacity the side put on display would put many NRL squads around the competition (in much more favorable circumstances) to shame.

KEY BATTLE

Nathan Peats vs Isaac De Gois: Nathan Peats was forced to leave the Eels mid season due to their salary cap dramas. He will be looking to put an inspired performance in on Saturday night against his former club to remind them of what they lost. Issac De Gois will have his hands full containing his opposite number and will need to be breathing down the neck of Peats throughout this match to limit the damage he can potentially inflict.

The Eels are severely depleted in the outside backs with a host of the stars out through injury and suspension. In order to limit their exposure to the Titans speedy outside backs they will need to control the delivery from the forwards and therefore contain the service Nathan Peats can provide. If Nathan Peats is not kept in check expect the Eels to have a tough time containing the Titans in this one.

PREDICTION

The Titans have a strong record against the Eels at CBUS Super Stadium winning 5 of the 7 matches between the two sides, they will be looking to ram home this advantage against an Eels team that are due for a letdown following weeks of turmoil and the final relisation that they will not be playing finals footy in 2016.

Expect the strong determination and dedication the Parramatta side have shown in 2016 to be present again in the early exchanges, but the Gold Coast Titans of 2016 look to have too many points in them and should skip away in the second half to hold onto their top 8 position for another week. The Titans to excite the CBUS Super Stadium faithful and win by 16 points.

SQUADS

Saturday 5.30pm at CBUS Super Stadium

Titans: 1 David Mead 2 Anthony Don 3 Josh Hoffman 4 Konrad Hurrell 5 Nene Macdonald 6 Tyrone Roberts 7 Ash Taylor 8 Luke Douglas 9 Nathan Peats 10 Ryan James 11 Zeb Taia 12 Chris McQueen 13 Agnatius Paasi. Interchange: 14 Eddy Pettybourne 15 Leivaha Pulu 16 Nathaniel Peteru 17 Nathan Friend

Eels: 1 Michael Gordon 2 Bureta Faraimo 3 Manu Ma’u 4 Brad Takairangi 5 Bevan French 6 Clint Gutherson 7 Jeff Robson 8 Danny Wicks 9 Isaac De Gois 10 Tim Mannah 11 Kenny Edwards 12 Tepai Moeroa 13 Beau Scott. Interchange: 14 Rory O’Brien 15 Peni Terepo 16 David Gower 17 Daniel Alvaro