Mitch Dransfield previews the Indigenous round match between the Sydney Roosters and the Gold Coast Titans at the SCG. This is what we have to look forward to.
In what was seen to be a boil-over before kick-off, the Roosters were met with the Warriors playing gallantly until the final whistle; unfortunately they were unable to finish off the Sydney side late, with the Roosters winning 18-10.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans – arguably the best Queensland side form-wise in the competition – took the Panthers down to the 60th minute to nearly snatch a huge upset win, losing 22-14. They will grow with confidence, being only two points behind at half time also.
The only change for the premiers is Ryan Hall slotting in for an injured Brett Morris on the wing.
Roosters team: 1. James Tedesco 2. Ryan Hall 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Luke Keary 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Jake Friend 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Sitili Tupouniua 12. Mitchell Aubusson 13. Isaac Liu 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Nat Butcher 17. Lindsay Collins 18. Christian Tuipulotu 19. Drew Hutchison 20. Daniel Fifita 21. Egan Butcher.
Gold Coast Titans
The Gold Coast made a few changes to their lineup, with Keegan Hipgrave returning to the second row, seeing Sam Stone back to the bench. Sam Lisone replaces Jai Whitbread on the interchange.
Titans team: 1. Corey Thompson 2. Anthony Don 3. Brian Kelly 4. Dale Copley 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Nathan Peats 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Arrow 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Tyrone Peachey 16. Jarrod Wallace 17. Sam Lisone 18. Erin Clark 19. Sam Stone 20. Jai Whitbread 21. Alexander Brimson.
Past results have seen the Roosters get the wood over the Titans in head-to-head matchups, as they have won the last five encounters. These tend to be high-scoring affairs, with average total points in the games over five years being 46. The Titans have beaten the Roosters more times in Sydney than anywhere else.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Joseph Manu vs Brian Kelly
Key battle presented in this matchup is between the strike centres in Joseph Manu and Brian Kelly. These two centre backs have both been pivotal in their team’s attack in the backline, while also giving a great platform with a tough carry out of their own end. Manu has the ability to draw a lot of defence and the Roosters will no doubt look to sweep to him early, allowing him to create or score himself close to the line. Kelly is one of Titans’ best players of the past few seasons, but will need to have another stellar game with much of the attention on his defence for this match. His ability to break tackles will be crucial for them to score points and beat Sydney.
Sydney Roosters by 20.
Date: Saturday, August 1.
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground