Titans v Raiders preview

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Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders Saturday 7:45pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Carlton / Bidjigal

Titanic test awaits as Raiders come to town* (in Sydney)

The Gold Coast Titans will put their credentials to the test on Saturday evening when they ‘host' the Canberra Raiders at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Coming into the season with high expectations following an impressive recruitment drive and two wins over the first three rounds, the Gold Coast Titans will be looking to gauge their standing in the NRL hierarchy against one of the premiership heavyweights.

Piling on plenty of points during last Sunday's 44-8 demolition of the Cowboys, coach Justin Holbrook will be hoping his side can break a run of four straight losses against the Raiders where they have been outscored by a combined 40-113.

Forced to temporarily relocate to Sydney following a COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, the Titans will feature on the second half of Saturday's twin bill featuring the Sharks and Cowboys earlier in the evening.

Retaining the same squad that thrived in Townsville six days earlier, Tyrone Peachey has been named to start ahead of Moeaki Fotuaika as was the case last week.

Showing tremendous resilience only to be dealt the cruellest of defeats last week, the Canberra Raiders will be out to rebound by continuing a dominant run of form over their opponents.

Winning six of their past seven clashes against the Titans, coach Ricky Stuart will be hoping for greater luck with injuries after being forced to play with a one-man bench for much of last Saturday's 34-31 loss to the Warriors.

Forced into changes after Joseph Tapine (ankle) and Curtis Scott (ribs) sustained injuries during play, Hudson Young and Dunamis Lui return after being late omissions last week, while Seb Kris and former Titans captain Ryan James will need to pass concussion protocols in order to take the field.

Last meeting: Round 15 2020 - Titans 16 Raiders 36

Who to watch: Who to watch for the home side.

Having been headhunted by the Titans on one of the largest contracts ever offered by the club, marquee second rower David Fifita will need to deliver on his price tag on Saturday evening. Bouncing back from a quiet debut with dominant showings against the lowly Broncos and Cowboys, the 21-year-old Queenslander will face fiercer opposition when the highly regarded Raiders come to town (in Sydney). Capable of destroying teams with his athleticism and strength, Fifita will be vitally important in the Titans' bid to claim the scalp of a premiership contender.

Beginning his first grade career with the Titans while still a teenager in 2008, Raiders wingman Jordan Rapana will be hoping to overcome a lean run of tries in recent times. Gaining a reputation as a try-scoring specialist after being handed a first grade lifeline by Ricky Stuart, the 31-year-old New Zealand and Cook Islands international has crossed the stripe only four times since the start of last season. Coming agonisingly close to scoring the winning four-pointer last week, only to be denied by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's heroic tackle, Rapana will have his sights set on making amends and earning a new deal in the process. 

The favourite: Having developed a formidable reputation over the past two seasons, the Raiders have been preferred ahead of the league's new improvers.

My tip: The Gold Coast are a team on the rise; but coming up against a side like Canberra is a big step up from the likes of Brisbane and North Queensland. Canberra by 10.

1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Phillip Sami 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Corey Thompson 6. Tanah Boyd 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 11. Kevin Proctor 12. David Fifita 13. Tyrone Peachey 14. Moeaki Fotuaika 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Erin Clark

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Bailey Simonsson 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. George Williams 17. Ryan James 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Dunamis Lui 11. Hudson Young 12. Elliott Whitehead 13. Ryan Sutton 8. Josh Papali'i 14. Tom Starling 15. Siliva Havili 16. Iosia Soliola

Referees: Adam Gee; Sideline Officials: Michael Wise, Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski; Video Referees: Steve Chiddy;

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