2023 NRL Preview Round 19: Titans Vs Dolphins

The Titans will be looking to avenge their last meeting against the Dolphins after relinquishing a 26-0 lead to lose 28-26 to the NRL’s newest franchise in astounding fashion.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Gold Coast Titans Vs Dolphins
Venue: CBUS stadium
Date: Sunday July 9, 4:05pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Phillip Sami 6. Kieran Foran 7. Tanah Boyd 8. Jaimin Jolliffe 9. Sam Verrills 10. Iszac Fa’asumaleaui 11. Klese Haas 12. Joe Stimson 13. Isaac Liu 14. Chris Randall 15. Erin Clark 16. Jojo Fifita 17. Jacob Alick 18. Thomas Mikaele 19. Keano Kini 20. Kruise Leeming 21. Ken Maumalo 22. Tony Francis

Dolphins: 1. Kodi Nikorima 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Euan Aitken 4. Valynce Te Whare 5. Tesi Niu 6. Isaiya Katoa 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Herman Ese’ese 11. Connelly Lemuelu 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Ray Stone 14. Josh Kerr 15. Mark Nicholls 16. Anthony Milford 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Max Plath 19. Harrison Graham 20. Poasa Faamausili 21. Brenko Lee 22. Kurt Donoghoe

Referee: Grant Atkins

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MATCHDAY PREVIEW

The Titans conceded the equal-biggest comeback in NRL history to the Dolphins. They will be hunting their first win against their new neighbours, but they’ll be doing so without four Origin stars, making the task much more difficult. Sitting in 10th place on the ladder though it is a crucial two points they need to come away with to fight for a finals spot.

Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, David Fifita and Mo Fotuaika leaves a massive whole in the Titans pack and it’s where they are in danger of struggling most with the trio on Origin duty. The combination of work rate, yardage, power, and ability to break games open from those three is irreplaceable.

Perhaps the biggest loss however is superstar in waiting AJ Brimson who will make his first appearance as a Fullback for the Maroons in Origin game 3. Brimson has been a huge part of the Titans attack and a match winner, averaging a try assist and 7 tackle breaks per game since returning from injury round 15.

Fortunately for the Titans, they do have a readymade replacement for Brimson with the electric Jayden Campbell. Whenever he has donned the number one jumper for the Titans, he’s caused headaches for opposition defences. He shapes as a key X-factor in winning and losing on the Gold Coast Sunday afternoon and they will be relying on some Campbell magic.

The Dolphins themselves will be missing their star in Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, with Euan Aitken moving to the centres and Kodi Nikorima taking over at fullback. Felise Kaufusi is also out while Anthony Milford and Jarrod Wallace will both return from suspension.

There is no denying the Dolphins are far less affected from Origin and are just as desperate as the Titans to snatch the victory. After starting the season sensationally, they now find themselves two points behind the Titans and sitting in 12th place. It was coincidently after the last clash against the Titans that inconsistency started to creep in, only winning two games since the amazing comeback of round eight.

Whilst the scoreboard suggests last rounds 24-16 loss to the top four Broncos was a step in the right direction, Wayne Bennett would likely disagree. Despite being in the match the Dolphins conceded 8 penalties to go along with 12 errors and an abysmal 51 missed tackles. If they are going to win in round 19, they will need to clean up their errors and missed tackles very quickly.

The shift of Nikorima to fullback has provided some spark and with the return of Sean O’Sullivan recently, they do look like they have the troops to turn the attack around. Against a team that has conceded the 6th most points against them this season, that may be the difference.

To win this matchup the Dolphins will need their spine to fire and will be sweating on the health of hooker Jeremy Marshall-King who will reportedly play with pain killing injections due to a shoulder injury. If the spine can complete sets and minimise errors, the Dolphins do have a pack who can win the forward battle against the decimated Titans.

This is probably one of the harder games to predict of the round, with two teams who have not shown much consistency for months. Whoever can show some on Sunday will come away with a victory and some confidence that they can possibly make a run into the top eight to play football in September.

LAST TEN MATCHES

Dolphins 1, Titans 0

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Dolphins by 10 points.

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