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The Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks have typically fought out close battles over the years, and it’s hoped more of the same will be on display as the two sides clash to get magic round underway. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:50pm (AEDT).
While their average margin since the inception of the Titans in 2006 is under eight points per game, that might be thrown out the back window this evening given the form of the two sides.
The Titans have really been up against it so far in 2019. While a swathe of injuries, combined with inexperience across the roster certainly hasn’t helped the men from the Gold Coast, they have been generally pretty poor at getting the little things right, whether that be defending with energy on their line, or hanging onto the ball with solid completion rates.
While they have gotten away with it a couple of times and weren’t blown off the park by the North Queensland Cowboys in their sixth loss of the season last weekend, they will struggle without those fundamental areas of their game taking major improvement this week.
Cronulla are known for winning games up front, by playing patient foot and cutting down the errors, which should work against the Titans errored ways.
The Sharks only real issue heading into this game is the chance of a let down after their fabulous victory over the Melbourne Storm on home soil last week.
They found themselves behind multiple times in that game, but kept hanging around and then hit the front during the second half to take a victory, which, given their injuries, no one saw coming.
They have injuries again this week with Matt Moylan and Shaun Johnson still watching on from the grandstand, but against a side like the Titans, they shouldn’t hit nearly as hard as they should have last week.
If their young forwards stand up again off the bench, this could be one-way traffic for much of the 80, with Jack Williams and Braden Hamlin-Uele in particular the men to watch out for.
The Sharks will be out to put on a big win here and keep the momentum they got last week rolling. With the Titans struggling, and in areas the Sharks should be able to exploit, I reckon that’s just the way this clash might end up.
Sharks by 16.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 NRL season from 7:50pm (AEDT) as magic round gets underway, and don’t forget to get involved by adding a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Live, Fox League, Nine Network
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports
Betting: Titans $1.74, Sharks $2.31
Gold Coast Titans
1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Dale Copley, 6. Alexander Brimson, 7. Ash Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Shannon Boyd, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14. Jesse Arthars, 15. Moeaki Fotuaika, 16. Keegan Hipgrave, 17. Max King, 18. Jack Stockwell, 19. Jai Whitbread, 20. Ryley Jacks, 21. Brenko Lee
1. Josh Dugan, 2. Sosaia Feki, 3. Bronson Xerri, 4. Josh Morris, 5. Aaron Gray, 6. Kyle Flanagan, 7. Chad Townsend, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Kurt Capewell, 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Blayke Brailey, 15. Jayson Bukuya, 16. Jack Williams, 17. Braden Hamlin-uele, 18. Scott Sorensen, 19. Sione Katoa, 20. Billy Magoulias, 21. Will Kennedy