Andrew Pelechaty previews the second South East Queensland derby of 2020, this time at the Gold Coast. This is what we have to look forward to.
Gold Coast Titans
The Titans won back-to-back games for the first time since 2018, beating Canterbury 18-14 last Saturday. They scored four tries (Corey Thompson, Beau Fermor, Jamal Fogarty, Anthony Don), led 14-6 at halftime, and survived a late Bulldogs fightback. A fantastic sign of maturity. While the Titans have only won six games and sit in 13th place, their attitude and tenacity has improved immensely under new coach Justin Holbrook. Sometimes the process is more important than the results.
The Broncos’ clash with Penrith (second-last against first) looked like a horrifying mismatch. The Broncos played better than many expected, only trailing 8-6 after 36 minutes before Kurt Capwell’s try gave Penrith a boost before halftime. The Panthers won 25-12, but Brisbane didn’t have their customary second half collapse. Kotoni Staggs scored eight of the Broncos’ 12 points, with a try and two goals. Luckily for Brisbane, Canterbury-Bankstown’s inability to find a win means they should avoid their first wooden spoon.
Gold Coast Titans
1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Beau Fermor 4. Young Tonumaipea 5. Corey Thompson 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Sam Stone 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Tyrone Peachey 14. Erin Clark 15. Jai Whitbread 16. Jai Arrow 17. Sam Lisone 18. Tanah Boyd 19. Treymain Spry 20. Darius Farmer 21. Nathan Peats.
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Richard Kennar 6. Sean O’Sullivan 7. Tom Dearden 8. Rhys Kennedy 9. Issac Luke 10. Payne Haas 11. David Fifita 12. Alex Glenn 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Cory Paix 15. Ben Te’o 16. Xavier Coates 17. Joe Ofahengaue 18. Jesse Arthars 19. Ethan Bullemor 20. Brodie Croft 21. Pride Petterson-Robati.
While the Broncos hold a comfortable 20-8 head-to-head lead since 2007, their recent form means that stat can be thrown out the window. The Titans beat the Broncos 30-12 at Lang Park in round seven, scoring five tries to two. Brisbane were lambasted for laughing with Titans players at full time, with many accusing the Broncos of not hurting enough.
BATTLE TO WATCH
Alexander Brimson vs Darius Boyd
This is a battle between two fullback with polar opposite attitudes.
The Titans have thrived since Brimson’s return, with three wins from their last six games, and the biggest loss being by 20 to Canberra (even then, they did well to stay in the contest after trailing 22-4 at halftime). Brimson’s scored three tries, had two try assists, one line break assist, and an 89.4% tackle efficiency. If Brimson has a big game, the Titans will win.
In his final year, Boyd looks gone mentally, with his oft-mocked “turnstile” defence coming back against the big Roosters loss. It’s a shame that the 334-game veteran is counting down the games until retirement, but hopefully he can find some pride and end his career on a high, starting on Saturday.
The Titans are a huge chance to win three straight: as the standout Queensland team of 2020, they deserve it. Hopefully Brisbane gain some confidence from their performance against Penrith and put up a fight.
Gold Coast by 10.
Date: Saturday, September 12.
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast