Andrew Pelechaty previews the opening Super Saturday match, with Cronulla hosting the Gold Coast Titans at Kogarah Oval. This is what we have to look forward to.
The Sharks dropped to eighth with a 14-12 loss to Parramatta in teeming rain at Kogarah Oval, ending a three-game winning streak. The highlight for the Sharks was two magical second half tries to Ronaldo Mulitalo, which helped them erase Parramatta’s 12-4 lead. A penalty goal to Mitchell Moses was enough for Parramatta to win.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans had a big afternoon last Sunday: their 30-10 win over North Queensland saw them equal last year’s win tally (four), and become the most successful Queensland team in 2020 so far. The Titans scored six tries (including a double to AJ Brimson) against the Cowboys, leading 20-0 at halftime. It was a massive win after competitive performances against Penrith and the Sydney Roosters.
1. Will Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Josh Dugan 4. Jesse Ramien 5. Ronaldo Mulitalo 6. Matt Moylan 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Braden Hamlin-Uele 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Aaron Woods 11. Siosifa Talakai 12. Wade Graham 13. Toby Rudolf 14. Connor Tracey 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Jack Williams 17. Royce Hunt 18. Teig Wilton 19. Briton Nikora 20. Braydon Trindall 21. Bryson Goodwin.
Gold Coast Titans
1. AJ Brimson 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 (c) 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Arrow 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Tyrone Peachey 16. Jarrod Wallace 17. Sam Lisone 18. Corey Thompson 19. Jai Whitbread 20. Young Tonumaipea 21. Beau Fermor.
Cronulla have won 12 out of 21 games against the Titans since 2007, with one draw. They easily won their round eight clash, scoring seven tries (Braden Hamlin-Uele, Andrew Fifita, Briton Nikora, Blayke Brailey, Chad Townsend, Royce Hunt, Bryson Goodwin) in a 40-10 win. Shaun Johnson kicked six goals from seven. The Sharks won both meetings last year: 26-18 and 20-6.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Sione Katoa vs Anthony Don
It’s a battle between the try-scoring wingers at Kogarah Oval.
Katoa has been a big part of the Sharks’ revival, with 10 tries since the competition’s resumption (12 in all), including a hat-trick in the 20-18 win over the Bulldogs, and two each in the wins over the Sea Eagles and Warriors. If Katoa finds the line at least once against the Titans, then it’ll be a high-scoring day for the Sharks.
Another handy try-scorer, Don has scored nine tries in 12 games, including a double in the Titans’ win over the Broncos. If the Titans are to win, Don will need to score.
With upcoming games against Penrith, the Sydney Roosters, and Canberra, this Gold Coast clash is vital for the Sharks to stay in the eight. The Titans have improved since their round eight game, so this clash will be a lot closer, but the Sharks have more to play for.
Cronulla-Sutherland by six.
Date: Saturday, August 15.
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney