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The Gold Coast Titans will look to flip a horrific historical record against the North Queensland Cowboys when the sides clash during an Origin-interrupted Round 12. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 4:05pm (AEST).
While both teams have struggled through the first half of the year, they will both be looking for major improvements during the Origin window with a view to building a successful second half of the season and possible finals appearance.
The Titans are completely unaffected by Origin this year after Jarrod Wallace missed out, while the Cowboys only lose Michael Morgan and Josh McGuire, although coupling that with an injury to Matt Scott isn’t going to help matters.
That all being said, it’s on the Cowboys back-up forward brigade to stand up and do a job on the Titans today.
They lose a stack of experience without McGuire and Scott, and while Jason Taumalolo has been in good form, they need to see continued improvement out of names like Coen Hess and Jordan McLean, while Scott Bolton slots back into the starting 13.
The Cowboys have actually improved their position to 13th on the ladder in the last couple of weeks on the back of victories over the Titans, Eels and Raiders, meaning they have now won three of their last four.
They are starting to reach the potential it seemed certain they were capable of in the pre-season and a win today will leave them equal on points with the bottom of the top eight.
As mentioned, the Titans are virtually at full strength, minus the injury of Ryan James, who is out for the season.
They are in a virtual must-win position today because of it. For all the positivity surrounding Gareth Brennan’s side at the start of the season, they have been failing to execute on simple skills, and the form of Ashley Taylor has been woeful.
The Gold Coast did get the better of the Manly Sea Eagles last week at Brookvale in a surprise, but they are still second last on the table and anything that could go wrong, has.
Taylor’s form is what will get the Titans into this game – his kicking game and any dominance he can have over the Titans structure – will determine how they play with the ball, although their work in defence has been at best questionable this year.
The Cowboys have also won their last eight matches against the Titans, including a match just four weeks ago.
I’ll take the Cowboys. Jason Taumalolo will prove to be a real menace up the middle, and the form of the Cowboys in general has been on the improve.
Cowboys by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this Round 12 NRL match from 4:05pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 4:05pm (AEST)
Venue: CBus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
TV: Live, Fox League 502, Channel 9
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Titans $1.70, Cowboys $2.15
Overall record Played 22, Cowboys 14, Titans 8
Last meeting: Round 8, 2019 – Cowboys 28 defeat Titans 14 at 1300 Smiles Stadium
Last five: Cowboys 5, Titans 0
Record at venue: Played 9, Cowboys 5, Titans 4
Referees: Henry Perenara, Jon Stone
Gold Coast Titans
1. Alexander Brimson 2. Anthony Don 3. Jesse Arthars 4. Brian Kelly 5. Dale Copley 6. Tyrone Roberts 7. Ash Taylor 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Keegan Hipgrave 13. Jai Whitbread
Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Bryce Cartwright 17. Jack Stockwell 18. Max King 19. Will Matthews
North Queensland Cowboys
1. Jordan Kahu 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Mitchell Dunn 4. Tom Opacic 5. Gideon Gela-Mosby 6. John Asiata 7. Jake Clifford 8. Scott Bolton 9. Jake Granville 10. Jordan McLean 11. Gavin Cooper 12. Coen Hess 13. Jason Taumalolo
Interchange: 14. Kurt Baptiste 15. Shane Wright 16. Corey Jensen 17. Francis Molo 18. Peter Hola 19. Enari Tuala