Warriors eye bounce back game against lowly Titans

Gold Coast Titans v Warriors Saturday 3:00pm at Cbus Super Stadium, Robina / Yugambeh

The Warriors will be looking to make it four wins from five matches as they continue their 2024 revival, taking on a Titans side that now sits at the foot of the NRL ladder.

New Zealand suffered a very poor loss to the Storm last weekend, failing to take advantage of a dominant opening 15 minutes to fall 38-24. While Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, Addin Fonua-Blake and Jackson Ford did everything they could, injuries and a lukewarm return by Shaun Johnson meant they could not make their mark.

But that's not as bad as the Gold Coast, who handed the Tigers their first win since April in a 18-10 loss. Keano Kini was nearly flawless, while Jayden Campbell and Mo Fotuaika also starred, but errors let them down as they repeatedly failed to press home a field position advantage.

David Fifita is a big in for the Titans after missing the loss to Wests with an ankle injury. Keenan Palasia starts at prop with Moeaki Fotuaika in Maroons camp, while Klese Haas will miss the game due to injury. This means Joe Stimson and Iszac Fa'asuamaleaui are added to the bench.

The Warriors have been unusually impacted by Origin - with Kurt Capewell and Mitchell Barnett called into Queensland and New South Wales camp respectively. They're replaced in the starting side by Dylan Walker and Tohu Harris while Tom Ale and Jacob Laban join the bench. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also returns from a hamstring injury in the centres to replace the injured Rocco Berry - while Ed Kosi comes in on the wing for the suspended Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

The Warriors stack is slowly returning to the league median, currently at just under 22 points per game. The Titans would be expected to be beneficial to this rising average, as they concede over 28 points per match. Similarly the 3pm kickoff also benefits the Warriors, who have a 40% win rate in the daylight compared to the Titans 37.5%.

Last meeting: Round 8 2024 - Warriors 24 Titans 27

Who to watch: 

The return of David Fifita is massive for the Titans - since it feels as though the only way they can win a match is with him in the squad. The bollocking back rower is averaging 152 metres per game to go along with 4 tries, 5 linebreaks and 9 linebreak assists. Importantly he has featured in all three Titans wins, including their win over the Warriors in New Zealand back in Round 8.
For the Warriors they will sorely be needing a better performance from Shaun Johnson. SJ had a poor match kicking and running against the Storm, his first since a pec injury in Round 10. Having made 9 try assists in his first 10 games of the year, the Warriors will desperately need his scoring generation to improve after an off week.

The favourite: The Warriors are backed to win here

My tip: One side is getting back to their best while the other is banged up and missing one of their best remaining players. This could be brutal. Warriors by a lot

1. Keano Kini 2. Alofiana Khan-Pereira 3. Brian Kelly 19. Jacob Alick-Wiencke 4. Phillip Sami 6. Jayden Campbell 7. Kieran Foran 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Chris Randall 10. Josiah Pahulu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Erin Clark 14. Sam Verrills 15. Isaac Liu 16. Iszac Fa'asumaleaui 17. Joe Stimson 18. Tanah Boyd 21. Arama Hau

1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Edward Kosi 3. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 4. Adam Pompey 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Te Maire Martin 7. Shaun Johnson 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wayde Egan 10. Jackson Ford 11. Marata Niukore 12. Dylan Walker 13. Tohu Harris 14. Chanel Harris-Tavita 15. Jacob Laban 16. Jazz Tevaga 17. Tom Ale 18. Bunty Afoa

Referees: Adam Gee; Sideline Officials: David Munro, Matt Noyen; Video Referees: Kasey Badger;

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