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Gold Coast Titans
Gold Coast Titans
The Canberra Raiders will be desperate to get their season back on track when they host the Gold Coast Titans tonight. Join The Roar for live scores and a rolling blog of events from the nation’s capital from 5:30pm (AEST).
Arguably two of the most disappointing teams in the competition this year, desperation is the order of the day as we get to the pointy end of the season. The Titans were tipped by many to break into the eight this year after a strong end to last season, while the Raiders’ premiership window has been wide open for a while now. As it stands, they sit in 13th and 10th respectively, and while the finals are still within reach, every match is crucial from here on out.
The Raiders will be boosted by the return of skipper Jarrod Croker, who comes in for Matthew Timoko in the only change. With only Josh Papalii and Jack Wighton involved in Origin 2, the rest of the side has had a week off to refresh from a demoralising loss to the Dragons.
The Titans welcome back Corey Thompson and AJ Brimson from injury, in place of Greg Marzhew and Jayden Campbell respectively. Kevin Proctor returns from suspension for Sam Stone, while Beau Fermor and Sam Lisone have also been named on the interchange bench. Their Origin trio of David Fifita, Mo Fotuiaka and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui are set to back up.
Historically, matches are pretty split between the two sides; but in recent times, the Raiders have been dominant over the Titans, winning the last five in a row and seven of the last eight. The Titans have won four games from eleven attempts at GIO Stadium. These two have already played in 2021, back in Round 4, when the Raiders ran out comfortable 20-4 winners at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
This one is a genuine toss of the coin. Both have been incredibly disappointing for the year, but still have time to make things right. For the Raiders, the headline has been their inability to close games out, and to go missing in seconds halves. They did just that against the Dragons in their last start, holding a comfortable lead at various times during the contest but ultimately going down.
For the Titans, they haven’t struggled to score points, but have certainly struggled to stop conceding them. They have given up 91 points in just the last two games alone, rendering the 58 points they’ve scored in those matches worth nought.
I’m going to go with the Titans in this one. They welcome back some experience and some class, and have the points in them to crack the Raiders and go on with things in the second half if the Raiders drop their intensity, as they have been guilty of doing.
Titans by 6
Kick off: 5:30pm (AEST)
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
TV: Fox League
Online: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Go
Odds: Raiders $1.50, Titans $2.60 (odds via PlayUp)
1. Bailey Simonsson, 2. Semi Valemei, 3. Jarrod Croker (c), 4. Sebastian Kris, 5. Jordan Rapana, 6. Jack Wighton, 7. Sam Williams, 8. Josh Papalii, 9. Josh Hodgson, 10. Dunamis Lui, 11. Corey Harawira-Naera, 12. Elliott Whitehead, 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench/Reserves: 14. Tom Starling, 15. Emre Guler, 16. Iosia Soliola, 17. Joseph Tapine | 18. Matthew Timoko, 19. Hudson Young
1. AJ Brimson, 2. Phillip Sami, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Patrick Herbert, 5. Corey Thompson, 6. Ash Taylor, 7. Jamal Fogarty (c), 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Erin Clark, 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 11. Kevin Proctor (c), 12. David Fifita, 13. Tyrone Peachey
Bench/Reserves: 14. Beau Fermor, 15. Sam Lisone, 16. Moeaki Fotuaika, 17. Jaimin Jolliffe | 18. Sam Stone, 19. Sam McIntyre