Full Time
2:00pm Thu April 25, 2024
Round 8 - Go Media Stadium, Penrose / Aotearoa - Crowd: 23912

Round 8: Warriors v Titans preview

For the first time since 2015, the Warriors have the privilege of hosting the Titans in Auckland, for the first of the three ANZAC Day clashes this year. 

Since 2009, the Warriors have played the Storm in Melbourne for their annual ANZAC Day match, except for 2015, where the Titans faced the Kiwi side in Auckland to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. (They also did not play in NZ for majority of 2020, including ANZAC Day, due to the pandemic). 

The Warriors will be looking for redemption after being on the end of a shocking loss to the Dragons last week. With a draw to the Sea Eagles in Round 6, that leaves the team on the East of the Tasman with an equal three wins and three losses record for the season so far, sitting in 10th place. 

Kurt Capewell misses this clash after suffering a throat injury against the Dragons last week, he is replaced by Jacob Laban, who has played off the bench for the Warriors past three matches.

Dylan Walker returns from an ankle injury to the bench and is joined by Zyon Maiu'u who is making their NRL debut. This forces Adam Pompey to drop to 18th man. 

Gold Coast are in the trenches still looking for their first win of the season, currently sitting in 17th place, keeping the position warm and toasty. Over the last two rounds, the Titans have fought bravely, losing to the Raiders by one point in the final minute of golden point in Round 6 and coming within four points of a win against Manly last week. 

The Titans front the same 17 that were close to securing a win last week, with David Fifita being named to start, after making the late switch from bench to starting side last week. Phil Sami and Keenan Palasia are still sidelined with respective ankle and quad injuries. 

History is stacked against both sides, with the Warriors losing eight of their past ANZAC matches, with the Titans also having won their past four games against the Warriors, however they do not have a good track record across the ditch, only having won one of their past five games in New Zealand. 

Last meeting: Round 23 2023 - Titans 18 Warriors 28

Who to watch: After Luke Metcalf suffered a leg injury that is seeing him on the sidelines for a lengthy stint, Te Maire Martin has taken his place in the halves. Playing three games so far this year, Martin has made one try assist and one line break assist whilst also scoring a four-pointer of his own. 

Tanah Boyd is currently playing in five-eighth, with Kieran Foran being shifted to halfback since Round 4. Making an appearance in all five of the Titans games so far this year, Boyd has had a lacklustre start, only scoring one try of his own with no try assists or line break assists. 

Both of these players play an integral role in their team's spine, and it will be a good contest between the two who are partnered with senior and experienced halfbacks.

Favourite: The Warriors are favoured to get the job done at home and add another two points to their tally.

My tip: The Warriors are playing at a sold out Go Media Stadium for ANZAC Day for the first time in almost ten years, which marks a momentous occasion, one which they would like to seal with a win. The Titans have had a struggling start to the season, and whilst I feel like they might be turning around the bend, I do not think they are quite there yet. Warriors by 14.