Joshua Knox previews the final game of Round 15, with the Gold Coast hosting Manly Warringah ….. This is what we have to look forward to.Embed from Getty Images
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast Date: Sunday June 20, Time: 4:05pm
IN: Alexander Brimson, Anthony Don, Jai Whitbread, Mitch Rein, Moeaki Fotuaika
OUT: Esan Marsters, Kevin Proctor
Sea Eagles Team
21.Kurt De Luis
IN: Christian Tuipulotu, Sean Keppie, Tevita Funa, Tom Trbojevic
OUT: Cade Cust
Referee: Grant Atkins
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
TitansEmbed from Getty Images
The Titans have been one of the more underwhelming performers against expectation in 2021. Many pundits predicted that the Gold Coast franchise would be a top eight side and with half of the season remaining, the Titans have a lot of work to do. A positive however for Titans fans is the fact that they still only sit two wins outside the top eight with a logjam forming for the bottom few spots of the top eight. The Titans were gutsy in round 14 almost producing a stunning comeback from 30-4 down against the Sydney Roosters. The Titans fought back to lead 34-30 late before a try in the corner and a field goal from Sam Walker icing a 35-34 win for the Roosters. The Titans could welcome back Alexander Brimson from injury and see David Fifita and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui return to the starting pack after being relegated to the bench against the Roosters.
Sea EaglesEmbed from Getty Images
The Sea Eagles just continue to soar and did so without their star fullback Tom Trbojevic piling 50 points on a helpless North Queensland Cowboys in round 14. Queensland representative and captain Daly Cherry-Evans had a field day compiling three try assists, to go with six offloads and a massive 13 tackle breaks. Manly have quietly gone about their business and now sit sixth on the ladder and are starting to pose a serious threat to those above them. They welcome back Tom Trbojevic who was rested last round following his man of the match performance for the NSW Blues. These are the games that the side need to win to continue their rise and look to cement their position in the top eight.
The welcome addition of Tom Trbojevic will bolster an already strong side who are coming off a 32 point win last time out without their superstar fullback. The Titans will need to contain the roll forward of Taniela Paseka and Martin Taupau to limit the impact of Trbojevic. Manly’s execution on both sides of the field has been top tier with wingers Jason Saab and Reuben Garrick scoring 11 and eight tries respectively. The young guns are giving fans a great look at the future of the club.
The State of Origin period generally sees the best players in the game miss out on playing some matches for their club but the Titans won’t be too phased as they have unearthed a son-of-a-gun Jayden Campbell at fullback. Son of the NRL great Preston Campbell, Jayden has played with the confidence of a player with over 100 games, not one who has only played two first grade games. Despite not winning in either of those games, he has added some spark to the lineup who have lost to two premiership contenders over the last two weeks by a combined seven points.
For the Titans to stand a chance in this one, halves Jamal Fogarty and Ashley Taylor will need to improve what they have dished up for the first half of the season. The Titans season is by no means gone and forgotten, but a loss here will leave them in a precarious position.
The Gold Coast will be wanting to turn around their fortune against the Sea Eagles after an embarrassing 36-0 loss earlier this year. It was the return from injury for Tom Trbojevic who had a day out scoring a try, assisting two and making two line breaks of his own. Reuben Garrick helped himself to 20 points on the day scoring two tries and converting six from seven.
The Titans will have some hope coming into this one following last weeks gutsy performance but expect a fresh Tom Trbojevic to run riot. Manly by 8.
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