Preview: Gold Coast Titans vs New Zealand Warriors

They were both tipped for big things in 2017, however its been a disappointing start to the season for the Titans and the Warriors, and both sides are desperate for a win on Saturday.

Last Time Out
The Titans put up a typically brave fight against the Cowboys last round, however their failure to capitalise on opportunities with the ball left them short of the 2 points. The Gold Coast had just 38% of the ball all game, and spent a good part of the first 40 minutes pinned down in their own half. They were still able to head into the halftime break with an 8-6 lead courtesy of an Ash Taylor try, which ended up being the only time the Titans crossed the try line. Nathan Peats’ absence from the side could be noticed in defence, while Jarryd Hayne’s quite game in the centres has forced Neil Henry to move him back to fullback for the Warriors clash.

It was another typical disappointing display from the Warriors last round, as they were unable to overcome a Parramatta side that was without star half Corey Norman. The game epitomised the performances that fans have come to expect from the Warriors, although it is still mind-boggling to watch such a quality roster make so many frustrating errors and blow opportunities. New Zealand had hope as they got within 2 points with just 8 minutes remaining, however crucial errors in the dying minutes saw the Eels take a 32-24 victory.

Key Battle
Jarryd Hayne and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck can be two of the most electrifying players in the competition on the day, however both are experiencing a similar rough start to the season. The two fullbacks take up a large chunk of their respective teams salary caps, and so far both players have been unable to hit top form like their struggling teams look to them to do so. Hayne has shown in Origin 1 that he can still produce the big time plays, and with the spotlight back on him at fullback, the time is now for the enigmatic superstar to justify his salary for the Titans. Similarly, Tuivasa-Sheck is starting to show signs of the weapon he is, and he burst into life with a dazzling solo try against the Eels last week. Their teams need them to start producing the big time plays, and it could very well be the player who does so on Saturday that is leaving Cbus Super Stadium with the two competition points.

The Warriors have made Cbus Super Stadium a second home of theirs with a large number of New Zealand supporters living on the Gold Coast, and as a result they’ve won their last 6 at the Titans home ground. However, the Titans are well aware of the need to win at home after a few disappointing defeats at their fortress this season, and the home team should be determined to try keep their top 8 aspirations alive. The Gold Coast should have just enough fire power to get home against the inconsistent Warriors.

Titans by 10

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