Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Two of the NRL’s biggest underperforming teams over the first month of 2019 will look to right the wrongs and get things back on track when the Gold Coast Titans host the Penrith Panthers. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEDT).
If the 6pm Friday time slot is the least friendly for TV viewers and ratings, then it’s almost like the NRL saw into the future by scheduling this game in the dreaded slot for Round 5.
The two teams have both made horrendous starts to the season, and honestly, this game isn’t shaping up to be one of the classics, although you just never know what is going to be served up on the day.
The Titans come into the match with four losses from four starts in 2019, and will be desperate to turn it around.
After showing signs of a revival in Round 3 against South Sydney, they travelled to Auckland last week and put on an insipid display against the New Zealand Warriors.
So bad were the Titans, the last 50 minutes of the match felt like the result was already in the bag.
Despite their attack languishing at the bottom of the table, they continue to leave bright young talent AJ Brimson on the bench, and are showing few signs of either end of the park which indicate they might play finals footy this year. It’s particularly disappointing given the upside they showed at the back end of last year.
Things don’t get a whole lot better for the Panthers to be brutally honest. They came away with a 9-8 win over the Wests Tigers last week at home in what was one of the worst games you’re ever likely to see, but their attack has also been woeful.
In the last two weeks, they have scored just a single try, and the only time they have played anything approaching good rugby league was in Round 2 when they beat the Newcastle Knights.
They have made a change in putting Dylan Edwards on the wing, allowing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to play fullback, but it feels like more than that will need to happen for this game to be anything good, based on what the two sides have dished up with the footy so far this year.
It’s hard to say which way this one is going to go. The Titans are at home and need to win sooner or later, but the performance last week was pitiful, and it didn’t look like a one-off. The Panthers weren’t great either, but should have enough to get the job done here.
Panthers by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the early Friday clash in Round 5 from 6pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 6pm (AEDT)
Venue: CBus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
TV: Live, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Foxtel app, Foxtel now, Kayo Sports, NRL live pass
Overall record: Played 18, Panthers 12, Titans 6
Last meeting: Round 22, 2018 – Titans 16 defeated by Panthers 17 at CBus Super Stadium
Last five: Panthers 4, Titans 1
Record at venue: Played 8, Panthers 5, Titans 3
Referees: Dave Munro and Liam Kennedy
Gold Coast Titans
1. Michael Gordon, 2. Anthony Don, 3. Tyrone Peachey, 4. Brian Kelly, 5. Dale Copley, 6. Tyrone Roberts, 7. Ashley Taylor, 8. Jarrod Wallace, 9. Mitch Rein, 10. Ryan James, 11. Kevin Proctor, 12. Bryce Cartwright, 13. Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14. Alexander Brimson, 15. Max King, 16. Shannon Boyd, 17. Keegan Hipgrave, 18. Jack Stockwell, 19. Phillip Sami, 20. Ryley Jacks, 21. Jai Whitbread
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 2. Josh Mansour, 3. Dean Whare, 4. Waqa Blake, 5. Dylan Edwards, 6. James Maloney, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. James Tamou, 9. Sione Katoa, 10. Reagan Campbell-Gillard, 11. Villame Kikau, 12. Isaah Yeo, 13, James Fisher-Harris
Interchange: 14. Wayde Egan, 15. Tyrell Fuimaono, 16. Moses Leota, 17. Hame Sele, 18. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, 19. Tim Grant, 20. Jarome Luai, 21. Liam Martin