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Magic Round concludes with the Gold Coast Titans facing the toughest task in the game at the moment: taking on the undefeated Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium. Follow this NRL matchh with live scores on The Roar from 6:25pm (AEST).
Sitting pretty on top with a 9-0 record, the Panthers are flying. They obliterated the Sharks 48-0 last week to remind the competition yet again that they’re the best team going around, Charlie Staines’ hat-trick simply the most flashy effort in a consummate team performance.
They’ve won 25 of their past 26 games, the only loss to the Storm in last year’s grand final: even coming close to Ivan Cleary’s men at the moment feels like Mission Impossible.
The Titans broke a three-match losing streak with a vital 36-28 win over the Tigers; but Justin Holbrook will need to fix up his side’s leaky defence to stand a chance against the ladder-leaders.
David Fifita was optimistically named in the team on Tuesday before his two-match suspension was upheld by the NRL judiciary – it’s expected Beau Fermor will move to the second row in his place and Esan Marsters will slot in at centre. Replacing Fifita’s game-breaking ability will be a major challenge for the Titans in this one.
1. Alex Brimson, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Brian Kelly, 4. Beau Fermor, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Tanah Boyd, 7. Jamal Fogarty (c), 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. David Fifita, 13. Tyrone Peachey
Bench/Reserves: 14. Moeaki Fotuaika, 14. Herman Ese’ese, 16. Jaiman Jolliffe, 17. Esan Marsters | 18. Sam McIntyre, 19. Erin Clark, 20. Sam Stone, 21. Jayden Campbell
1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Charlie Staines, 3. Stephen Crichton, 4. Matt Burton, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jarome Luai, 7. Nathan Cleary (c), 8. Moses Leota, 9. Apisai Koroisau, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Viliame Kikau, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench/Reserves: 14. Tyrone May, 15. Scott Sorensen, 16. Matthew Eisenhuth, 17. J’maine Hopgood | 18. Paul Momirovski, 19. Spencer Leniu, 20. Robert Jennings, 21. Mitch Kenny