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2021 NRL Round 10 Preview, Titans Vs Panthers

Jem Nash previews the final clash of Magic Round where the inconsistent Gold Coast Titans take on the high-flying Penrith Panthers.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Date: Sunday, May 16, Time: 6:25pm AEST

Titans Team

1. Alexander Brimson
2. Anthony Don
3. Brian Kelly
4. Beau Fermor
5. Phillip Sami
6. Tanah Boyd
7. Jamal Fogarty
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Mitch Rein
10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
11. Kevin Proctor
12. David Fifita
13. Tyrone Peachey
14. Moeaki Fotuaika
15. Herman Ese’ese
16. Jaimin Jolliffe
17. Esan Marsters
18. Sam McIntyre
19. Erin Clark
20. Sam Stone
21. Jayden Campbell

Team Changes

Unchanged

Panthers Team

1. Dylan Edwards
2. Charlie Staines
3. Stephen Crichton
4. Matt Burton
5. Brian To’o
6. Jarome Luai
7. Nathan Cleary
8. Moses Leota
9. Apisai Koroisau
10. James Fisher-Harris
11. Viliame Kikau
12. Liam Martin
13. Isaah Yeo
14. Tyrone May
15. Scott Sorensen
16. Matthew Eisenhuth
17. J’maine Hopgood
18. Paul Momirovski
19. Spencer Leniu
20. Robert Jennings
21. Mitch Kenny

Team Changes

IN: J’maine Hopgood
OUT:
Kurt Capewell

Referee: Adam Gee

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Titans

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David Fifita was named in the side but received a two-match suspension on Tuesday night so will have to be replaced. It’s been an inconsistent season so far for the Titans, and they were coming off three straight losses before their 36-28 win over the Tigers last week. They have made a habit of starting strong before allowing their opposition back into the match. They need to be at their absolute best for a full 80 minutes if they have any chance of beating the Panthers.

Panthers

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The Panthers are showing no signs of slowing down. They seemed to be in cruise control for the majority of their 48-0 demolition of the Sharks last week. Nathan Cleary was once again the best player on the field while James Fisher-Harris continues to lead the way in the middle. Kurt Capewell will be a big loss but they have a handy replacement in the starting lineup with Liam Martin, while J’maine Hopgood will make his NRL debut off the bench.

PREVIEW

The Titans have shown plenty of improvement this year but will face their toughest test of the season this weekend. They have one of the more talented young forward packs in the competition but will be significantly weakened by the absence of Fifita. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui and Jarrod Wallace will have to lead from the front while Tyrone Peachey’s creativity will be key to breaking the Panthers’ defences.

An interesting battle to watch will be between the fullbacks. AJ Brimson presents a threat every time he touches the ball and has produced six try assists so far this season. On the other side, Dylan Edwards has become arguably the best kick returner in the game, averaging 86.5 kick return metres this season, including 33 tackle busts. He constantly gets his team on the front foot before Brian To’o continues the metre eating.

The Titans defence has been suspect for much of the season and they will need to turn that around against a Panthers side that can quickly and easily pile on the points. Good discipline and winning the battle in the middle will be key to not allowing the Panthers good field position, because they will make you pay if they win the territory battle.

KEY STAT

The Titans have conceded 140 points through their last four games. Meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed just 60 points through the entire season, good enough for 6.66 points per game.

PREDICTION

Panthers by 20. 

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