Todd Warren previews a bottom eight clash as the Panthers look to keep up their winning ways and the Titans just look to take some sort of positive out of a horrible season that sees them in a battle for the Wooden Spoon.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Panthers are on a hot streak. To say their start to the season was disappointing would be a massive understatement, but they look to have turned it around as they adjust to life under coach Ivan Cleary (again). They’re coming off five wins on the trot which is more impressive considering their injury toll and the difficult rep period forcing a lot of lineup changes.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans are coming off another disappointing loss before the bye. They lost by 18 to Manly but they were never really in the game and the scoreline could have been a lot worse. Who knows how the Titans are going to play, but with the coach under huge pressure and the club sitting equal last on the ladder, they are beyond desperate to get a win against an in-form Panthers side.
The Panthers haven’t been hit that hard by Origin, only losing James Maloney, but he has been named to back up and join Jarome Luai in the halves. Nathan Cleary isn’t in the 17 although he is on the extended bench so is an outside chance of playing.
Penrith Panthers Team List: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Josh Mansour 3. Dean Whare 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. James Maloney 8. James Tamou 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Isaah Yeo 13. Liam Martin 14. Wayde Egan 15. Frank Winterstein 16. Moses Leota 17. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 18. Kaide Ellis 19. Jed Cartwright 20. Hame Sele 21. Nathan Cleary.
Gold Coast Titans
Ash Taylor is still out and there’s no solid date on his return for his personal issues. The Titans have no players affected by Origin with Jai Arrow out long term and Jarrod Wallace not making the cut after some forgettable performances in the Maroon jersey. Tyrone Peachey is still nowhere to be seen, in a likely move that he doesn’t want to play against the club he wanted to join before the June 30 deadline. Probably a good thing for the Titans as Peachey clearly doesn’t want to be at the Titans and is arguably the worst buy of 2019.
Gold Coast Titans Team List: 1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Brian Kelly 5. Phillip Sami 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jack Stockwell 9. Nathan Peats 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Bryce Cartwright 13. Jarrod Wallace 14. Mitch Rein 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Jai Whitbread 17. Tyrone Peachey 18. Will Matthews 19. Leilani Latu 20. Brenko Lee 21. Jesse Arthars.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Panthers have been dominant in this fixture, winning seven of the last ten matches between the sides. They last met back in Round Five with the Titans getting the win, however Michael Gordon scored 14 points that game and he’s still out injured. Since 2009 the Panthers have won six of eight matches against the Titans at home, and six of those eight games have been over 40 total match points if you were thinking of having a punt.
Hard to pick a key battle here as the Gold Coast are truly terrible at the moment, but one of the consistent fan favourites at the Titans is Anthony Don. He lines up against Josh Mansour, who started the year in very average form but is returning to his damaging best that had him playing rep footy not long ago. Both wingers do a great job of taking the tough runs to get out of their own end as well as scoring freakish tries. This game will probably be high scoring so expect the backs to have a big impact in the result.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday July 12
Venue: Panthers Stadium
Referee: Henry Perenara, Jon Stone
WHO WILL WIN?
Hard to tip against the Panthers at home and on a winning streak against a team that needs to make some drastic changes if they’re going to be competitive in the next couple of seasons. Panthers by 16.