Sharks v Titans preview

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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Gold Coast Titans Saturday 3:00pm at PointsBet Stadium, Woolooware / Dharawal

Two round one losers come together for a Saturday afternoon contest at Shark Park as the Cronulla Sharks take on the Gold Coast Titans, with both sides looking for a big win to get their season going.

Last weekend, the Sharks had a Round 1 trip to Newcastle where they took on Knights in the early Friday game. Cronulla's opening round performance left a bit to be desired, with plenty of errors and a completion rate of just 60% for the match. The concern for them - outside of their inability to hold the ball - was that they couldn't penetrate the Knights' defensive line, and their only try of the game came from the controversial decision which saw the Sharks awarded a penalty try.

They head into Saturday's clash with the same 21-man squad as named last weekend by rookie coach John Morris, despite calls from fans for the axe to be swung.

Meanwhile, the Gold Coast began their season at home and were given the welcoming of a torrential downpour right through the match. The Titans had big expectations on them coming into Round 1 with a host of new recruits however, they were unable to strike a blow on the Raiders, succumbing to a 21-0 defeat. Their issue last weekend, like the Sharks, was the inability to complete their sets with just a 64% completion rate.

Gold Coast have been forced into changes after last round's loss, with Tyrone Roberts and Ash Taylor failing to overcome injuries this week, which has meant that coach Garth Brennan has named former Storm half Ryley Jacks. There has been a boost however, with outside back Anthony Don returning from injury, instead Phillip Sami drops to the bench.

The Sharks and Titans have played each other 18 times since the Titans entry in 2007, with the Sharks holding a 9-8 winning record with one draw between the two sides. Since 2012, the average margin between the two sides is just 5 points with only one 13+ margin in that time.

Last meeting: Round 8 2018 - Titans 9 Sharks 10

Who to watch: Five-eighth Chad Townsend copped flak last weekend from Sharks fans over some poor decisions in play. He's had to take a leading role in recent years but with the addition of Shaun Johnson it will be key to see who takes the reins of leading the ship around the park after a less than stellar Sharks debut from 'SJ'.

Titans' captain Ryan James is the player to watch for the visitors. He has been a leading light for the Gold Coast's forward pack over recent years and with a strong squad around him, James was expected to be one of the big names to perform in 2019. However, he had a less than ideal Round 1 showing, accruing just 54 running metres.

The favourite: The Sharks have been put in as heavy favourites for the clash up against the Titans.

My tip: The Sharks should be good enough to win the contest, and while both sides were poor in Round 1, the Sharks did show glimpses of potential with Moylan, Townsend and Johnson combining at times in a low-scoring contest. The Titans do need to be given a second chance with a squad that would be better suited to dry track football, however missing two key halves diminishes their chances. Sharks by 10.

1. Matt Moylan 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Josh Dugan 4. Josh Morris 5. Sione Katoa 6. Shaun Johnson 7. Chad Townsend 8. Andrew Fifita 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Matt Prior 11. Briton Nikora 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Paul Gallen 14. Blayke Brailey 15. Jayson Bukuya 16. Aaron Woods 17. Jack Williams

1. Michael Gordon 2. Anthony Don 3. Tyrone Peachey 4. Brian Kelly 5. Brenko Lee 6. Alexander Brimson 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Shannon Boyd 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Ryan James 13. Jai Arrow 14. Phillip Sami 15. Moeaki Fotuaika 16. Max King 17. Bryce Cartwright

Referees: Jon Stone, Tim Roby; Sideline Officials: Clayton Sharpe, Liam Kennedy; Video Referees: Jared Maxwell, Ben Lowe;

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