Elinya Chenery previews the Saturday afternoon clash between the Titans and the Rabbitohs.
Gold Coast Titans Vs South Sydney Rabbitohs
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Date: Saturday June 11, 3:00pm
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Paul Turner 7. Toby Sexton 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. Sam McIntyre 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Tanah Boyd 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Sam Lisone 18. Esan Marsters 19. Herman Ese’ese 20. Aaron Booth 21. Corey Thompson 22. Alofiana Khan-Pereira
Jayden Campbell is sidelined with a hamstring injury picked up in last week’s game against the Cowboys, allowing Alexander “AJ” Brimson to slot into the fullback role after playing at five eighth for the majority of the season thus far. Making his Titans debut, Paul Turner will partner Toby Sexton in the halves, with Greg Marzhew making his return on the wing in place of a rested Corey Thompson.Embed from Getty Images
Rabbitohs: 1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Alex Johnston 3. Taane Milne 4. Campbell Graham 5. Jaxson Paulo 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Tevita Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Thomas Burgess 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray 14. Peter Mamouzelos 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Siliva Havili 17. Hame Sele 18. Blake Taaffe 19. Isaiah Tass 20. Liam Knight 21. Ben Lovett 22. Dean Hawkins
Cameron Murray, Damien Cook and Jai Arrow have all been named to play following representative duties for State of Origin on Wednesday night. Thomas Burgess will play his 200th NRL and Rabbitohs games, with Keaon Koloamatangi celebrating his 50th as well. Latrell Mitchell was a chance of returning from injury this weekend but has been rubbed due to contracting COVID.
Referee: Adam Gee
Despite only being round 14, the Gold Coast Titans head into this match in a must win situation. After sneaking into the top eight last year, many had high hopes for the Titans’ 2022 campaign, none of which have come to fruition so far season. Titans head into this match in 15th, with a 23% win rate equalling out to 3 wins and 10 losses, and did not benefit from a bye round last weekend.
Whilst the Rabbitohs currently sit just inside the top half of the competition in 8th, they head into this match on an exact 50% split in victories and losses, sitting at 6 and 6, after enjoying the bye last round. Having last week to rest is compounded by Souths convincing win over the Wests Tigers in round 12, in which winger Alex Johnston scored a hat trick and Cody Walker got over for a double. With this lead in, expect South Sydney to be high on both confidence and energy.
Adversely, the Gold Coast head into this match off the back of three straight defeats, including last week’s demolition by the Cowboys, in which the Titans did not score following the 15-minute mark and eventually went down 32-6 at their home ground. With three coaches gone already this season (two in the last week alone), Justin Holbrook must be desperately hoping to get a response out of his players in the coming weeks.
Coming off an 80 minute, 54 tackle effort in the Origin arena only three days out from this game, Damien Cook could potentially be slightly worse for wear this Saturday, a worry for the Bunnies due to their reliance on his ball playing ability and speed out of dummy half. Conversely, Cameron Murray played off the interchange bench on Wednesday night for a 50-minute stint, in which he scored the Blues only try of the second half with a bit of individual brilliance, and will be looking to back up his performance at club level come the weekend. With both Thomas Burgess and Keaon Koloamatangi celebrating milestone games, the Titans should be watching these two carefully, and be prepared to shut them down at the emergence of any big plays.
Despite the loss of young Jayden Campbell and his electric touches at fullback, South Sydney will need to shut down AJ Brimson in what is considered by many to be his best position. Brimson’s maturity and experience at the back could be lethal in this match, especially with a debutant making up part of the spine in Paul Turner at 6. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui played a respectable 53 minutes at prop on Wednesday night in the victorious Queensland team, and will come into this game with confidence, a threat Souths will need to be ready for.Embed from Getty Images
The Titans haven’t beaten the Rabbitohs since 2016 in a Golden Point thriller, and prior to that last beat them in regular time in 2014.
Rabbitohs by 10.
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