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Preview: Gold Coast Titans vs Melbourne Storm

The Titans will be desperate to snap a four game losing streak when they come up against the Melboure Storm at Cbus Super Stadium on Sunday. The Titans have put up a close fight in every game so far this season, however they will have to go the extra mile to defeat the in-form Storm, who are sitting in third position, with a win record of 6-2.

Last Time Out
As with almost every Titans game in 2016, they allowed the Bulldogs to get out to a strong 20-8 lead, before fighting back to come agonizingly close to victory. This time the Titans were able to send the game into extra time with a 20-20 scoreboard, however poor game management from Tyrone Roberts saw the Titans squander any chance they had at kicking a field goal to win the match. As a result, the Bulldogs were able to snatch the victory, and leave the Titans once again wondering ‘what if’.

The Storm were impressive against a woeful Warriors side, piling on 8 tries to win 42-0. Fijian winger Suliasi Vunivalu scored two tries in just his second NRL game, and could of had 4 to his name if it weren’t for 2 that were denied. Backrower Tohu Harris had a barnstorming game, scoring the first try and running for 228 metres, which earned him the Spirit of ANZAC medal as the man of the match. Melbourne’s attacking prowess wasn’t the only talking point of the game, as their defence could barely be penetrated by one of the most exciting teams in the competition.

KEY BATTLE
With gun half Ashley Taylor set to miss another week with a rib injury, Tyrone Roberts needs to step up and lead the Titans around after a disappointing match against the Bulldogs in which he failed to take control of the game. Robert’s will need to play strongly to help guide rookie halfback Cameron Cullen in just his 3rd NRL game, as they come up against the composed pairing of Australian halfback Cooper Cronk and Blake Green. In his years at the Knights, Roberts appeared to always have his strongest games against the Storm, as he lead them to an upset 18-16 semi final victory in 2013, and just last season he inspired a 20-6 upset against the finals bound Storm, despite the Knights sitting at the bottom of the table. The Titans will need him to find this form if they are to defeat Cronk and the Storm.

Prediction
As per usual for the Titans, they should be able to stick with the Storm for the majority of the game, however unfortunately for Gold Coast fans, the Storm’s clinical, experienced style of football should be enough to get them the two points.

Storm by 6

Squads
Titans: 1 William Zillman, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Josh Hoffman, 4 Nene MacDonald, 5 David Mead, 6 Tyrone Roberts, 7 Cameron Cullen, 8 David Shillington, 9 Nathan Friend, 10 Ryan James, 11 John Zebelon Taia, 12 Chris McQueen, 13 Greg Bird. Interchange: 14 Luke Douglas, 15 Leivaha Pulu, 16 Agnatius Paasi, 17 Kierran Moseley, 18 Lachlan Burr.

Storm: 1 Cameron Munster 2 Suliasi Vunivalu 3 Richard Kennar 4 Young Tonumaipea 5 Marika Koroibete 6 Blake Green 7 Cooper Cronk 8 Jesse Bromwich 9 Cameron Smith 10 Jordan McLean 11 Kevin Proctor 12 Tohu Harris 13 Dale Finucane Interchange: 14 Kenneth Bromwich 15 Tim Glasby 16 Felise Kaufusi 17 Nelson Asofa-Solomona 18 Benjamin Hampton.

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