NRL TEAMS - 2024 Round 1
34 hours ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
Titans and Bulldogs face off to end a forgettable season for both teams.
With both sides not in finals contention, it will be a battle for pride and a chance to finish the season on a high note. The year in review has provided few highlights for each team and their fan base. And with the teams finishing in 13th and 15th, there will be calls of expectations unfulfilled.
The Titans had some promising form against top teams early and late in the season but had failed to string together any momentum, winning only one out of their last seven games, with the back end-of-the-season performance dashing any hopes for a final's appearance. Coach Jimmy Lenihan found a silver lining on the Titan's back end of the season, saying it was a chance to get Tom Weaver and Keano Kini some game time.
With the Bulldogs still in the midst of rebuilding, it was another disappointing season for the fans and, if the last game was anything to go by, a disappointed coach in Cameron Ciraldo. Ciraldo was not mincing his words when talking about the team's Round 26 performance against the Sea Eagles. The Bulldogs coach was quick to point out he would fill positions in the run-on side with people who wanted to play.
With 11 games apiece in the history of these clubs meeting, this game will break the deadlock. But the Bulldogs have the honour of the worst defensive record in the competition and have not won at the Titan's home ground in their last five outings to Cbus Super Stadium.
With the Bulldogs remaining in 15th position regardless, the Titans hope a win will keep them in 13th above the new kids in town, the Dolphins.
Injuries to Harrison Edwards will keep him out of this game, and his Bulldogs teammate, Tevita Pangai Jnr, has also seemingly played his last NRL game with an unspecified injury.
The Gold Coast will be without Isaac Liu due to a finger injury he picked up from the last round.
Last meeting: Round 12 2023 - Bulldogs 20 Titans 18
Who to watch: Josh Addo-Carr may be out to keep up his record of nine tries in the past five games against the Titans.
The Titans representative forwards of Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, David Fifita and Moeaki Fotuaika will be present and ready to work off their main ball player, Kieran Foran.
In a first for the NRL, Kasey Badger will referee the game, becoming the second female to blow the whistle on-field after Belinda Sharpe on Friday's Manly vs. Tigers match.
Favourite: The Titans will go into their home match as favourites. The Gold Coast team have shown more fight in their last few games, while the Bulldogs have averaged 40 points a game conceded and don't look like turning this trend around for their last game.
My tip: The Titans will put on a winning performance in front of the home crowd, Gold Coast, by 12.
14. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 1. AJ Brimson 4. Aaron Schoupp 6. Kieran Foran 7. Thomas Weaver 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 15. Kruise Leeming 16. Joe Stimson 11. David Fifita 12. Klese Haas 16. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Jacob Alick 18. Iszac Fa'asumaleaui 19. Jo Vuna 20. Josiah Pahulu
1. Hayze Perham 2. Blake Wilson 3. Jake Averillo 4. Paul Alamoti 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Toby Sexton 8. Luke Thompson 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Liam Knight 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Corey Waddell 22. Ryan Sutton 13. Max King 14. Kyle Flanagan 16. Kurtis Morrin 17. Jayden Okunbor 19. Jeral Skelton
Referees: Kasey Badger; Sideline Officials: Liam Kennedy, Tyson Brough; Video Referees: Gerard Sutton;