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Gold Coast Titans

MATCH PREVIEW | New Zealand Warriors vs Gold Coast Titans

The New Zealand Warriors host the Gold Coast Titans on Friday night, with both teams looking to turn their seasons around.

Team Form Guide

New Zealand Warriors

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The Warriors had a night to forget in Christchurch, humiliated 46-12 by the Manly Sea Eagles.

Unforced errors and a failure to hold their defensive line were glaring concerns for New Zealand and the Titans will be targeting the Warriors’ edges as they aim for their first win of the year.

Gold Coast Titans

The Titans are the only team yet to win in 2019 but have shown improvement each round.

Their narrow loss in round three to South Sydney will have given them confidence for their clash with the struggling Warriors.

Squad News

New Zealand Warriors

Stephen Kearney has made changes to his squad after their poor performance in round three, dropping five-eighth Adam Keighran and bringing rookie Chanel Harris-Tavita in for his debut.

Karl Lawton has replaced Issac Luke at hooker with Luke being ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Leeson Ah Mau has moved to the starting line up with Bunty Afoa joining Ligi Sao on the interchange.

New Zealand Warriors 22-Man Squad: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, 2. David Fusitu’a, 3. Peta Hiku, 4. Solomone Kata, 5. Ken Maumalo, 6. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 7. Blake Green, 8. Agnatius Paasi, 9. Karl Lawton, 10. Leeson Ah Mau, 11. Isaiah Papali’I, 12. Tohu Harris, 13. Adam Blair, 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Bunty Afoa, 16. Lachlan Burr, 17. Ligi Sao, 18. Gerard Beale, 20. Leivaha Pulu, 21. Adam Keighran, 22. Blake Ayshford.

 

Gold Coast Titans

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The Titans welcome the return of Ashley Taylor and Tyrone Roberts into their halves, which will add much-needed direction to the Titans attack.

Jai Arrow will look to continue his impressive 2019 form and will cause plenty of headaches for the New Zealand side.

AJ Brimson has moved to the bench joined by Moeaki Fotuaika.

Gold Coast Titans 21-Man Squad: 1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Dale Copley, 6. Tyrone Roberts, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Ryan James, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow, 14. Alexander Brimson, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Shannon Boyd, 17. Keegan Hipgrave, 18. Max King, 19. Phillip Sami, 20. Ryley Jacks, 21. Jai Whitbread

Head to Head

Played: 24, New Zealand Warriors 16, Gold Coast Titans 8

Latest Results: Gold Coast Titans 36-12, Round 20 2018

Key Battle

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All eyes will be on the battle between Leeson Ah Mau and Ryan James.

Achieving dominance in the forward pack is key to victory in round four, and Ah Mau and James will need to lead from the front for their respective sides.

Expect to see both players contribute big metres for their teams as they slug it out in the middle of the park.

The Important Details

Date: Friday, April 5

Venue: Mount Smart Stadium

Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (8:00 PM NZ Time)

Who Will Win?

The Warriors have lost confidence and heart in the past fortnight, and they will need to put on a dominant display against the Titans, ultilising their large forwards and unleashing their lethal back three.

Chanel will add some much-needed flair to a Warriors attack that needs a kickstart.

The Titans – with the return of their halves pairing – will be targeting the Warriors’ edges and will need to put pressure on the Warriors’ rookie half Chanel if they have any chance of winning.

I see the Warriors being too strong for the Titans; spurned on by their poor performances in rounds two and three, the Warriors will be looking to send the New Zealand crowd home happy.

Warriors by 12



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