Round 5 of the National Rugby League will feature an enticing match-up between the Gold Coast Titans and Manly Sea Eagles on Sunday in Gladstone.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Titans bounced back after a heavy defeat in round 3 to find a crucial Easter weekend win against the Broncos at Suncorp 26-14.
Manly faced a desperate Raiders side who could not handle the Sea Eagles forwards with the home team running away with a convincing 32-16 victory.
Garth Brennan has named an unchanged Gold Coast side after the forward pack reshuffle was successful against Broncos last round.
Manly welcome back Dylan Walker to slot straight into the centres pushing Brad Parker to the wing. Matt Wright replaces injured Tom Trbojevic at fullback. Frank Winterstein starts in the second row for Curtis Sironen who is out for the season while Jack Gosiewski moves into the 17 for Kelepi Tanginoa.
The Titans battled their way to an impressive win in their last round meeting with the Broncos, the side will need to do a similar job if they are to win at a neutral ground against the Sea Eagles.
The key battle of this encounter will have the prop forwards from each side having a fierce challenge to best one another. Sea Eagles middlemen in Marty Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake have been highly impressive through the opening rounds with metres gained and the offloads which Taupau tops in the NRL.
Jarrod Wallace and Ryan James both will need to bring another polished and aggressive game plan to get on top of their opposing props if the Titans are any chance to win the middle third to allow their dynamic backline to flourish. James has averaged over 100 metres gained and 30 tackles this season which his side will look for him to produce even better numbers against a big Manly pack.
Prediction: Manly by 8
Manly Sea Eagles have won 4 of the last 5 meetings between these two sides with three matches posting 30+ points. This will be the fifth straight match between these two sides in Queensland, having not played at Brookvale since 2013.
Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Kane Elgey, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Will Matthews 13 Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Max King, 16 Bryce Cartwright, 18 Morgan Boyle
Sea Eagles: 1 Matthew Wright, 2 Brad Parker, 3 Dylan Walker, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Lachlan Croker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Frank Winterstein, 13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14 Jackson Hastings, 15 Shaun Lane, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Jack Gosiewski
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Sunday 8th April
Venue: Marley Brown Oval, Gladstone
WHO WILL WIN?