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The New Zealand Warriors will travel across the ditch to play the Gold Coast Titans in Round 14’s first Friday night game. Despite their lowly positions on the ladder (13th and 15th respectively), both sides are in touching distance of the top 8, with the Warriors one win out on 10 points while the Titans are two wins out on 8. Join The Roar live scores and a blog from 6pm AEST.
However, it really is do or die for both sides – particularly the Titans – as we have gone past the midway point of the season. This is when sides start to find themselves 3-4 wins shy of the eight, and start talking about mathematical possibilities (usually in lieu of actual possibilities) of making the finals.
Adding to the Titans’ woes are some key absences – namely Kevin Proctor (fractured eye socket), Keegan Hipgrave (suspension) and of course halfback Ash Taylor has been granted personal leave.
The reliable Ryley Jacks comes into the team to replace Taylor, while Tyrone Peachey will start in the back row in the absence of Proctor. Shannon Boyd has been elevated to the bench to cover Keegan Hipgrave after missing last week’s game.
For the Warriors, they are at full strength with Gerard Beale dropped to the reserves in favour of Patrick Herbert, while Jazz Tevaga has come onto the bench for Chris Satae.
On paper it’s hard to go past the Warriors in this one. However, that can be said for almost all games they play – given the talent in that side it’s hard to believe they’re languishing in 13th.
The Titans are essentially playing for their season. They’ll be desperate to win, although they are missing some key personnel which will make life difficult for them in the clutch moments of this game.
I’m going to pick the Warriors. I’m starting to like the look of the Kodi Nikorima/Blake Green combination, and with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in the side there is a level of class that the Titans simply do not have.
Warriors by 8
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 6pm AEST.
Where: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Streaming: NRL Digital Pass, Kayo Sports
TV: Fox League
1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ryley Jacks 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Nathan Peats 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Bryce Cartwright 12. Tyrone Peachey 13. Jai Arrow 14. Mitch Rein 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Jai Whitbread 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Will Matthews 19. Max King 20. Phillip Sami 21. Brenko Lee
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 2. David Fusitua 3. Peta Hiku 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Blake Green 8. Agnatius Paasi 9. Issac Luke 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Isaiah Papalii 12. Tohu Harris 13. Adam Blair 14. Jazz Tevaga 15. Bunty Afoa 16. Lachlan Burr 17. Karl Lawton 18. Gerard Beale 20. Chanel Harris-Tavita 21. Ligi Sao 23. Leivaha Pulu