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MATCH PREVIEW | Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors

The Titans come off a rare win to beat the Broncos last week and return home and look to back it up against a Warriors team coming off back to back losses.

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Gold Coast Titans

To put it bluntly, the Titans have been garbage this year. Every year there’s high hopes and every year they are inconsistent. No one gave them any chance against the Broncos at Suncorp last week and they shocked us all and dominated Brisbane the whole game. That was only their fourth win of the season and they’ll be hoping to keep the momentum and get a win for their home crowd to get them further away from wooden spoon contention.

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New Zealand Warriors

The Warriors are coming off a two game losing streak and look to bounce back. They were beaten by a hot Storm side last week but almost got the points over the Broncos the week before. To be fair, neither team has been great and there’s no real way to dress it up that both teams are in the bottom four with fours wins a piece.

SQUAD NEWS

Gold Coast Titans

Keegan Hipgrave and Kevin Proctor are both out of the 17 and replaced by Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey, who move off the bench and into the back row. Brenko Lee and Phillip Sami are on an extended bench so keep an eye on final team lists to see if there’s any changes although that seems unlikely.

Gold Coast Titans team list: 1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Tyrone Peachey 13. Jai Arrow 14. Mitch Rein 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Jai Whitbread 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Will Matthews 19. Max King 20. Phillip Sami 21. Brenko Lee

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New Zealand Warriors

Chris Satae is out, with Karl Lawton joining the bench. This seems strange as Jazz Tevaga also fills in at hooker quite regularly and there’s really no need for two bench hookers. Assuming that there will be a reshuffle at some stage as the Warriors props and Adam Blair aren’t known for playing big minutes. Look for Lawton to fill in at hooker, Tavaga in the back row and Burr at lock when the starters need a rest.

New Zealand Warriors team list: 1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Blake Green 8. Agnatius Paasi 9. Issac Luke 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Isaiah Papalii 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Lachlan Burr 17. Karl Lawton 18. Gerard Beale 20. Chanel Harris-Tavita 21. Ligi Sao 23. Leivaha Pulu

HEAD TO HEAD

The Warriors are one of the Titans bogey teams. Surprisingly, the Warriors have won 15 of the last 17 since 2011! All the games have been very high scoring, with the lowest total score being 28 points. The one big change from previous years is the lack of Shaun Johnson, who has carved the Titans up for years now. They didn’t have SJ back in Round Four and still got a 26-10 win back at Mount Smart.

KEY BATTLE

The battle of the fullbacks will play a big part of who gets the two points on Friday night. We all know what RTS can do. He’s the New Zealand test captain, Dally M medallist and one of the most damaging players in the game. His form hasn’t been as great thus far in 2019 however his forwards aren’t exactly laying the platform for him to do his work. He lines up against young gun AJ Brimson. AJ is in at fullback for the injured Michael Gordon however deserves his spot in the starting lineup anyway. With the ability to play in the halves, as a bench utility or his preferred fullback role, I’m of the belief that if he played the full year last year he was a good chance to get the nod for rookie of the year over Jamayne Isaako.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Friday June 14
Venue: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Kick-off: 6pm
Referee: Grant Atkins, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski

WHO WILL WIN?

It would take a brave person to put money on this game. Purely going off momentum gained from last week and the home ground advantage, I will be tipping the Titans, however there is zero confidence in that prediction and I will not be putting any of my hard earned cash on a game that could end 50-0 to either team.

Titans by 10

 

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