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2022 NRL Round 5 Preview, Titans Vs Eels

Nathan Smith previews the second clash between the Titans and the Eels of the season. Here’s what we have to look forward to…

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Gold Coast Titans v Parramatta Eels
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Date: Saturday, April 9, 7.35 pm (local)

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Titans: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Corey Thompson 3. Phillip Sami 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Greg Marzhew 6. AJ Brimson 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Will Smith 15. Jarrod Wallace 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Kevin Proctor 18. Paul Turner 19. Sam McIntyre 20. Sam Lisone 21. Herman Ese’ese 22. Sosefo Fifita 23. Tony Francis 24. Jacob Allick

The main changes for the Gold Coast Titans are the inclusion of Beau Fermor, Phil Sami and Isaac Liu, who all return to the side after missing last week’s game due to COVID-19 protocols. Brian Kelly misses out, with Phil Sami taking his spot at centre.

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Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Waqa Blake 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Nathan Brown 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Ryan Matterson 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Mitch Rein 18. Bryce Cartwright 19. Wiremu Greig 20. Hayze Perham 21. Samuel Loizou 22. Jakob Arthur 23. Marata Niukore 24. Solomone Naiduki

Shaun Lane returns to the starting line-up after missing last week’s game, which pushes Ryan Matterson back to the bench. Mitch Rein has been named at 17, replacing Bryce Cartwright on the bench.

Referee: Peter Gough

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Only a few weeks ago, both of these sides were shaping up to face each other for their first hit-up of the season. That game would turn out to be an exciting, points filled affair that saw the Eels sneak away with a 32-28 victory, despite at times looking close to a first-round defeat.

Since then, the Eels have won three from their four games, with a generally consistent performance in each, while the Titans have won two from their four games played.

The Titans are coming off of arguably one of the more dire games of rugby league ever seen. It was nearly a scoreless affair until AJ Brimson took a wobbly ball in the dying minutes to win them the game. They took the two points and can simply move on knowing that game is firmly in the past. This week presents an opportunity to think about how they can get their attack going, which they had demonstrated against the Eels earlier this season, and give their home fans a better showing.

Contrastingly, the Eels were brilliant in round four. They carved up their opposition, the Dragons, winning 48-14. Most notably, their spine was absolutely singing, with Clint Gutherson, Reed Mahoney, Dylan Brown and Mitchell Moses all contributing to the demolition job. The patience they showed in the first 40 minutes allowed for the second half to open up. This week, the Eels need to similarly play their sets, kick to the corners and wait for things to happen, rather than forcing the issue.

Phillip Sami returns after missing last week’s game due to COVID-19 protocols. He got the better of the Eels captain, Clint Gutherson, in the opening round after he barged over him to score a try. Following that, he celebrated with Gutherson’s signature try celebration. This one will be a fun battle to look out for.

Jamayne Isaako is one player the Titans will hope fires. He keeps his spot after the team decided to rest Jayden Campbell for another week. Almost an Eel this year, he can be a game-breaker, however, is also capable of errors. If he stands up and plays to his best, he will be a handful for the Eels.

For the Eels, it’s again hard to go past Dylan Brown as the one to watch for their opposition. In career-best form, he was everywhere last week and looks to be really beginning to find his feet. His step is one thing to watch for, which has shown up a few defenders in recent weeks. Titans players will be well served to mark him carefully.

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INTERESTING FACT

  • The Eels’ round one win against the Titans was their sixth straight against this side.
  • Both sides have won exactly 11 games against each other.
  • The Titans have won seven of their 12 games played against the Eels at home.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Parramatta Eels 13+

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