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2021 NRL Round Two Preview: Titans Vs Broncos

Todd Warren previews Titans vs Broncos in an early season QLD derby. Both teams are coming off round one losses and will be looking to bounce back. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast, Date: Friday, March 19, Time: 8:05pm

Titans Team

1. AJ Brimson
2. Anthony Don
3. Phillip Sami
4. Patrick Herbert
5. Corey Thompson
6. Ash Taylor
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Mitch Rein
10. Moeaki Fotuaika
11. Kevin Proctor
12. David Fifita
13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
14. Tyrone Peachey
15. Sam Lisone
16. Jaimin Joliffe
17. Erin Clark
18. Beau Fermor
19. Herman Ese’ese
20. Sam McIntyre
21. Tanah Boyd

Team Changes

IN: Phillip Sami
OUT: Brian Kelly (fractured hand)

Broncos Team

1. Jamayne Isaako
2. Xavier Coates
3. Herbie Farnworth
4. Tesi Niu
5. David Mead
6. Anthony Milford
7. Brodie Croft
8. Tevita Pangai Junior
9. Jake Turpin
10. Thomas Flegler
11. Alex Glenn (c)
12. Jordan Riki
13. Pat Carrigan
14. John Asiata
15. Rhys Kennedy
16. Ethan Bullemor
17. Ben Te’o
18. Tom Dearden
19. Richie Kennar
21. Cory Paix
22. Corey Oates

Team Changes

IN: Rhys Kennedy
OUT: Matt Lodge (hamstring)

Referee: Matt Cecchin

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Titans

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While the Titans were favourites over the Warriors last week, the Warriors were just too good. Even with five forced dropouts, 214 runs and 624 post contact metres they were lacking something in attack and it remains to be seen if they can sort it out before Friday night. Brian Kelly is out with a hand injury but is replaced by Phillip Sami, who had a good year last year and will want to make an impact to try to force his way back into the team full time.

Broncos

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If I’m being honest, I didn’t watch the Broncos play last week. If you follow me on Instagram you’d have seen that I was checking out some bands and drinking 7% beers in Fortitude Valley, so I’m not totally sure what happened for the Broncos to choke so hard in the second half. From the highlights I saw, it really doesn’t seem like there was any reason for the collapse and Brisbane actually played pretty well despite some tough luck with injuries and cramping. John Asiata and Xavier Coates are cleared to back up this week, however Matt Lodge is out with a hamstring injury so Thomas Flegler will be starting in the meantime, with Rhys Kennedy on the bench.

PREVIEW

The Titans are looking to beat the Broncos for the third time in a row after two good wins in 2020. The Titans were disappointing last week and a lot of people (myself included) thought they would handle the Warriors to get this season started well, but obviously there is still a bit of work to do. David Fifita spent a bit of time in hospital leading up to the game with a leg infection and no doubt that had some sort of impact on his performance. He’s all better this week apparently, so fingers crossed we see the best of him. It will be interesting to see David Mead line up against his old club after a great game in his Broncos debut, as well as Fifita up against the club that gave him his debut.

KEY STAT

The team winning at half time has won the last seven of these fixtures. Brisbane have scored the first try in the first 10 minutes in four of their last five matches; however, they haven’t scored more than six second half points in those five games.

PREDICTION

All things considered, the Titans should get the win here, and that’s what the bookies think too. However, after a disappointing game last week it’s hard to know how they will back up. It’s hard to predict things this early in the season, especially in a local derby with both teams coming off losses, but I have to stick with the Titans here due to the Broncos just not looking great in second halves recently.

Titans by 10.



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