Gold Coast v Manly preview

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Gold Coast Titans v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Sunday 4:05pm at Cbus Super Stadium, Robina / Yugambeh

The final contest of Round 14 comes to us from sunny Queensland with the Gold Coast Titans looking to snap a three-game losing streak as they take on the Manly Sea Eagles, who themselves are boosted by the return of Tom Trbojevic.

The Gold Coast season has been one more like a Movie World Rollercoaster than a walk in the park with many promising signs intertwined with some pretty average moments which has shown that fortunes haven't changed too much with the Titans sitting in twelfth spot on the ladder with just 5 wins so far this season.

It was almost the miracle of all miracles for the Gold Coast Titans last weekend as they briefly overturned a 26-point deficit before ultimately falling to a 35-34 defeat to the Sydney Roosters at Cbus Super Stadium last Saturday. The Titans were blown off the park for the fifty minutes of the contest as they trailed the 30-4 before the wheels the comb came off the Roosters crow and the Titans were able to find their mojo and score 30 unanswered points to lead 34-30. The Roosters fought back to level the scores and ultimately take the victory.

This weekend, the Titans lose veteran forward Kevin Proctor through suspension with Moeaki Fotuaika returning to the side with Jaimin Joliffe dropping back to the bench. The Titans have also named David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the starting side after both backed up from Origin on the bench. AJ Brimson is a chance of returning from injury having been named in the reserves by coach Justin Holbrook.

The Manly Sea Eagles started the season like a stone thrown into the ocean off Manly beach but very quickly the Sea Eagles found their wings as they went on 8 of their next 10 matches to sit in sixth spot on with seven wins from their thirteen matches this season.

Things looked shaky early for the Sea Eagles last weekend as they took on the Cowboys with the North Queenslanders opening a 12-0 lead after just ten minutes which sparked more concerns about Manly being a one-man team with Tom Trbojevic being rested and a poor performance from Manly. Things quickly improved for Manly as they went on to dominate the rest of the first half leading 28-12 before not letting their foot off the pedal as they ended up taking a 50-18 victory to dispel qualms about being a one-man team.

Coming off the 32-point victory, the Sea Eagles are set to be boosted with the return of Tom Trbojevic in his regular fullback role after being rested last weekend, this means that Reuben Garrick returns to the centres with Moses Suli being pushed back to the reserves. Manly are also boosted with the return of Sean Keppie from suspension on the interchange bench.

Last meeting: Round 6 2021 - Sea Eagles 36 Titans 0

Who to watch: Having another injury riddled season, Ash Taylor has lacked spark in attack and needs to find something if the Titans want to avoid another mediocre season. Taylor's attack has been rather pedestrian at times and especially against Manly, Taylor will need to look to create if the Titans want a chance of winning.

One of the strongest performers for Manly has been young front rower Taniela Paseka who starting to play a more dominant role in the Sea Eagles forward pack. The youngster has started in all bar one game for Manly this season and his go forward and developing strength is important for Manly. Paseka has a bright future and can again shine a light for the Sea Eagles go forward this weekend.

The favourite: The Manly Sea Eagles are dominant favourites for the contest with their good form and strong line-up. It's important to note that Manly have won 7 of their 11 games on the Gold Coast.

My tip: Honestly, it's hard to see Manly not racking up a score on the Gold Coast on Sunday. The Titans whilst unlucky against the Roosters, weren't at the party for most of the contest and it was a capitulation from the Tricolours that got them back into the game. Manly were dominant in the sides clash earlier in the season in Mudgee and there is no reason for a repeat performance especially after hitting the half-century last weekend. Manly by 20.

1. Jayden Campbell 2. Greg Marzhew 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ashley Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 13. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 11. Sam Stone 12. David Fifita 14. Tyrone Peachey 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 15. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Jai Whitbread 17. Mitch Rein 18. Sam McIntyre

1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Taniela Paseka 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau'atu 12. Karl Lawton 16. Sean Keppie 14. Dylan Walker 15. Ben Trbojevic 17. Toafofoa Sipley 17. Kurt De Luis 19. Tevita Funa

Referees: Grant Atkins; Sideline Officials: Michael Wise, Wyatt Raymond; Video Referees: Ashley Klein;

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