Championship SQUADS - 2021 Playoffs Week 1
72 mins ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
Anniversary celebrations a test of Titans' credentials.
Home team the Gold Coast have spent most of the season hover among the other teams in the bottom half of the table. Many of their fans will be happy to tell you this is in large part to their huge injury toll which saw plenty of experience sitting on the sidelines over the opening two months of the 2017 season.
That certainly is part of the truth of the matter. Since some key faces have been welcomed back - notably Jarryd Hayne - the men who call Robina's Cbus Super Stadium home have slowly made their way up the ladder and now sit alongside the Warriors on ten points - just behind Canberra and Penrith who are nipping at the heels of the eight.
A win for either side will be vital here - while a loss will be fairly damning for their prospects. Gold Coast have plenty of potential without reaching the lofty heights many thought a refreshed roster would bring, while the Warriors' expectations seem to be high each season before they disappoint in March & April, shooting up the table in the winter months only to collapse in a heap just before September hits.
Last meeting: Round 5 2017 - Warriors 28 Titans 22
Home ground advantage saw the Warriors home in a Round 5 clash that saw the Titans with plenty of star power in the stands. It's a bit of a pattern if we're being honest - the Warriors have only lost once to the Gold Coast once in the last thirteen clashes between the pair. Across 21 games since 2007 it's the Warriors who lead by 14 to 7 wins.
Who to watch: William Zillman has earned a call up to the starting wing position for the hosts and will be keen to prove he's no slouch. The shuffle of the backline means Jarryd Hayne slots into his favoured #1 jersey, but expect the former 49er to ove around a little - especially if Tyrone Roberts is cleared to take the field on Saturday afternoon.
The 300 club welcomes a new member on Saturday as former Storm-er Ryan Hoffman earns his 300th cap. The embodiment of the term workhorse, 'Hoff' won't be hassled as he looks to get on with the job of targeting the Titans' edge defenders, hopefully continuing the Warriors' Origin period surge up the table.
The favourite: Incredibly despite their poor record, the Titans are better backed here.
My tip: The Warriors are the modern-day definition of bogey team for the Titans. Even a 10-year anniversary jersey won't overcome that in my book. Warriors by 6.
1. Jarryd Hayne 2. Anthony Don 3. Dale Copley 4. Konrad Hurrell 5. William Zillman 6. Kane Elgey 7. Ashley Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Ryan James 15. Morgan Boyle 12. Joe Greenwood 11. Chris McQueen 13. Leivaha Pulu 14. Karl Lawton 19. Nathaniel Peteru 20. Max King
1. Roger Tuivasa-sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Solomone Kata 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kieran Foran 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Jacob Lillyman 9. Issac Luke 10. Ben Matulino 11. Bodene Thompson 12. Ryan Hoffman 13. Simon Mannering 15. Sam Lisone 16. Albert Vete 17. Bunty Afoa 22. Mafoa'aeata Hingano
Referees: Dave Munro, Chris Sutton; Sideline Officials: Ricky MacFarlane, Nick Morel; Video Referees: Jared Maxwell, Ben Galea;