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MATCH PREVIEW | Gold Coast Titans vs North Queensland Cowboys

Todd Warren previews the final game of the first bye round, with the Titans taking on the Cowboys in the QLD derby.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Gold Coast Titans

The Titans are coming off a big 36-18 win against Manly last week to break a four-game skid. They return home and look to keep up the momentum against a depleted Cowboys side.

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North Queensland Cowboys

The Cowboys are also coming off a good win against the Raiders last week to give them their first back-to-back wins this season.

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SQUAD NEWS

Gold Coast Titans

The Titans didn’t get hit by Origin too hard this season, but they will be without Jai Arrow again, who didn’t play against Manly. There are some positional changes with Bryce Cartwright back to the bench and Keegan Hipgrave starting in the back row. Jesse Arthars starts at centre and AJ Brimson is still at fullback with Michael Gordon out injured. There is a whole lot of salary cap on the Titans bench.

Titans squad: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Whitbread 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Max King 19. Will Matthews 20. Ryley Jacks 21. Leilani Latu

North Queensland Cowboys

Some big outs for the Cowboys with Michael Morgan and Josh McGuire in Queensland Origin camp, Matt Scott is out injured, along with Justin O’Neill. This causes a big shuffle in the lineup with the Cowboys already with a big injury list.

North Queensland Cowboys squad:1. Jordan Kahu 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Mitchell Dunn 4. Tom Opacic 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby 6. John Asiata 7. Jake Clifford 8. Scott Bolton 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Shane Wright 16. Corey Jensen 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola 19. Enari Tuala 20. Emry Pere 21. Javid Bowen

HEAD TO HEAD

The Cowboys won 28-14 back in Round 8 and have been very dominant over the Titans the last few years. The last time the Titans beat the Cowboys was March 2014 with a 13-12 win thanks to an Aidan Sezer field goal. Cowboys have won nine of the last ten against their Queensland little brother.

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KEY BATTLE

The battle of the halves will be key here. Lots of inexperience for the Cowboys with John Asiata being capable but undoubtedly playing out of position. He’s joined by rookie Jake Clifford who hasn’t played a lot of first grade games, let alone enough to have a good combination going with the rest of the Cowboys’ spine. They come up against the experience of Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor who have played together a lot as well as being great mates since Roberts came over to the Titans a few years ago.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Sunday June 2
Venue: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Kick-off: 4:05pm
Referee: Henry Perenara, Jon Stone

WHO WILL WIN?

Hard one to pick with both sides having bad seasons as well as Origin playing havoc by not only taking players from both teams, but also not selecting players like Jarrod Wallace, Gavin Cooper, Tyrone Peachey and Coen Hess. Jake Granville was also overlooked despite being the only Queensland hooker left available in the NRL; we will see how all these players react to the snub. Again I must mention that I’m a long-suffering Titans fan, so take it with a grain of salt when I tip Titans by 14.

 

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