2015 NRL Match Preview: Gold Coast Titans vs Penrith Panthers

Date: Saturday April 18 2015

Venue: CBUS Super Stadium

Kick-Off: 3pm

Gold Coast Titans 1. Josh Hoffman 2. Anthony Don 3. James Roberts 4. William Zillman 5. David Mead 6. Aidan Sezer 7. Kane Elgey 8. Luke Douglas 9. Beau Falloon 10. Nate Myles 11. Ryan James 12. Dave Taylor 13. Greg Bird. Interchange: 14. Matt White 15. Lachlan Burr 16. Ryan Simpkins 17. Kierran Moseley

Penrith Panthers 1. Matt Moylan 2. Josh Mansour 3. Waqa Blake 4. Robert Jennings 5. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 6. Api Koroisau 7. Isaac John 8. Jeremy Latimore 9. James Segeyaro 10. Brent Kite 11. Sika Manu 12. Elijah Taylor 13. Nigel Plum. Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Sam Mckendry 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 17. Isaah Yeo 19. Bryce Cartwright


The Gold Coast Titans will go in as favourites when they host injury ravaged Penrith Panthers at CBUS Super Stadium this Saturday.

This will be the Titans fourth attempt to win at home this season after defeats at the hands of Wests Tigers (18-19), Knights (18-20) and Broncos (16-26).  In 2014 it was a similar struggle for the club winning only three times at their home ground.

Beau Falloon returns for Gold Coast this week after he missed last week’s victory over Parramatta at Pirtek.  This means the talented Kierran Moseley returns to the bench.  When he arrives on the field expect him to be involved in a good battle with James Segeyaro, his understudy at the Panthers last season.  Eddy Pettybourne is suspended and will miss this game.  Agnatius Paasi is the Titans eighteenth man.

The Panthers have been unsuccessful on the road in 2015 with defeats by the Roosters (20-12) and Knights (26-14).  In 2014 they won seven on the road that included a 36-14 win over the Titans on June 7 as part of their five wins in a row.

Former Titans Jamal Idris’ season was confirmed as over by Panthers medical staff earlier in the week.  The news much better for Elijah Taylor, despite being named in the side is likely to miss the match.  Bryce Cartwright set for redemption after his demotion to VB NSW Cup last week.  Jamie Soward is set to return after the Representative Round.  Dean Whare and Lewis Brown are due back round 8.  Peter Wallace will be sidelined at least until round 12 after knee surgery.

If Penrith can show the same type of grit they did in victory over Manly on Saturday night, this game will be a beauty.  They unearth another Jennings, 3.0, with Robert joining Waqa Blake in the centres.  This will be an intriguing battle against try scoring machine James Roberts and experienced Will Zillman.  Penrith will be wary of Roberts’ finishing and shouldn’t fall into the same mistake as the Eels who were ordinary in shifting the ball out to his side of the field in an attempt to expose the Titans defense.

Five weeks in footy is a long time.  When these two sides met in round two it was Penrith who demolished the Titans 40-0 at Bathurst in Central New South Wales.  The Titans have recorded wins against Cronulla and last week’s win over Parramatta moved them away from the bottom of the table.

Kane Elgey and Aidan Sezer are starting to become a formidable pairing in the halves and could pose a problem for the Panthers if they produce fast footy.  The Panthers have struggled at the ruck with two speed play.  The opposition playing the ball quick but the Panthers slow in the same facet of the game.  Penrith were quick at the play the ball in their last outing which saw the Titans back peddle.

This game also gives female referee Kasey Badger a chance to cement a regular spot in the NRL as she’s named touch judge for this match.

Prediction The Titans are in this contest but their inability to win at home is a concern.  Penrith should be able to sneak home in a close one.  Panthers by six.

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