Titans v Roosters NRLW preview

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Gold Coast Titans v Sydney Roosters Sunday 1:55pm at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

The second of Sunday's NRLW triple header in Gosford sees two sides with very differing fortunes matching up as the Titans take on the Sydney Roosters.

Getting their first win of the season last week, the Gold Coast Titans have put themselves with an outside chance of making the NRLW finals following their 18-16 victory over the Parramatta Eels last weekend in Melbourne. The Titans have struggled in 2022 and last weekend whilst their discipline was still an issue, ball handling was much better with the only 5 errors last week which helped them dominate possession against the Eels.

The Titans chances of making the finals hinge on both taking victory and what happens in the earlier match between the Broncos and the Eels depending on the result. Based on the earlier match, both the Broncos and Eels have a better points difference (-21 & -32 Vs -34) and a victory for either side will see the Titans either slip or stay behind and need a win. 

Going into the contest with the same 17, Titans coach Karyn Murphy has put Evania Pelite at the fullback role which she shifted to last week where she was able to run for an NRLW record 300m last week. Apii Nicholls has been named in the centres after the switch last week.

Wrapping up their first NRLW Minor Premiership last weekend, the Roosters didn't have it their own way despite a fast start in their 18-16 victory over the Knights at Allianz Stadium last weekend. The Roosters started the game quickly opening up a 10-0 lead inside the first five minutes dominating the attack and possession. Errors began to hurt them as they lead to a 12-0 at the break before Roosters were forced to come from behind inside the final 5 minutes.

The Roosters have been strong all season but last weekend was their patchiest performance up against the Knights where errors came to bite them on the behind as Newcastle were able to take advantage and show that the Roosters were vulnerable. The Titans side with confidence could become an issue for the Tricolours if they step down their intensity.

Roosters coach John Strange has elected to make a couple of key changes including resting star fullback Sam Bremner. Debutant Jada Taylor has been named to take the fullback role while Shannon Rose also makes her NRLW debut on the wing replacing Jasmine Strange. Jayme Fressard returns with Leianne Tufuga being rested whilst Sarah Togatuki and Shaniah Power return to the forwards.

Last meeting: Round 2 2021 - Roosters 16 Titans 26

Who to watch: It's not hard to say that Evania Pelite is the player to watch, the move back to fullback was what many have been calling for and when Titans coach Karyn Murphy made that move, the impact was instantaneous with the Gold Coast looking as dangerous as they have all year. Pelite will need to have a big impact with the season and a finals spot on the line as well as not wanting to take the wooden spoon.

Having one of her best years to date, Roosters centre Isabelle Kelly has been a strike weapon for the Roosters again this season. Kelly was the matchwinner for the Tricolours last week and will need to be a leader for the Roosters with an inexperienced backline. Whilst responsibility doesn't solely fall on Kelly's shoulders, her performance on Sunday afternoon will be a big key for the Roosters trying to stop an upset.

The favourite: With the minor premiership secured the Roosters are strongly favoured to win.

My tip: There is something about this game that just screams upset to me and I can't put my finger on why right now. The Titans will have an opportunity to create a finals birth for themselves depending on what happens earlier in the day but they could also be looking to avoid the wooden spoon making them desperate. Everything says that the Roosters should win this contest but still can't shake that the Titans could pull off the upset which is why (probably stupidly) I think they'll win. Titans by 4.

1. Evania Pelite 2. Karina Brown 3. Apii Nicholls 4. Jasmine Peters 5. Madison Bartlett 6. Kimiora Breayley-Nati 7. Lauren Brown 8. Shannon Mato 9. Brittany Breayley-Nati 10. Stephanie Hancock 11. Zara Canfield 12. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith 13. Georgia Hale 14. Jetaya Faifua 15. Jessika Elliston 17. Laikha Clarke 18. Roxy Murdoch 21. Hagiga Mosby

1. Jada Taylor 2. Shannon Rose 3. Jessica Sergis 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Jayme Fressard 6. Zahara Temara 14. Jocelyn Kelleher 8. Kalosipani Hopoate 9. Destiny Brill 10. Sarah Togatuki 11. Shaniah Power 12. Olivia Kernick 13. Keilee Joseph 15. Shawden Burton 16. Otesa Pule 17. Angelina Teakaraanga Katoa 18. Samantha Economos 19. Joeli Morris

Referees: Belinda Sharpe; Sideline Officials: Cameron Turner, Mitchell Currie; Video Referees: Matt Noyen;

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