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The Gold Coast Titans will attempt to stop their season from getting even worse, but will have to do it the hard way against the high-flying Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6pm (AEST).
When the sides met in Round 23 last year, it was one of the worst defensive efforts all around you’re ever likely to see, as the Titans came from behind to win 42 points to 34.
However, it should be a very different encounter this time around. While the Titans are still struggling big time at the wrong end of the ladder, Des Hasler has turned the Manly club right around in the first half of 2019.
Undermanned and with a roster far inferior to many of the clubs they have beaten, the Sea Eagles just continue to find a way to get the job done.
They went to Cronulla last week and conquered the Sharks on a tough road trip, with the win leaving them in fifth place on the competition ladder.
It’s a staggering position to be in for the club, who are playing a controlled brand of footy on the back of their big front rowers, Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake. With the props leading the charge, Des Hasler’s side have all been buying into the culture and attitude.
On the other hand, it’s a completely different story at the equal last-placed Titans, who were poor again in a loss to the Bulldogs last week.
They come into this game having lost Jai Arrow at training yesterday, which will only hurt their soft middle third even more.
Garth Brennan’s side have struggled to match it in play the ball speed, metres run and tackle efficiency throughout the season, with the club also giving up a huge amount of tries up the guts.
It comes as little surprise the Gold Coast have the second-worst defensive record in the competition, but it’ll be tough to do something about it missing their best middle forward.
If Ashley Taylor’s kicking game isn’t almost pin-point accurate here, then it feels like the Titans might as well give away any chance of a victory.
The home side come into the game as overwhelming favourites, and not without reason. While you keep waiting for them to fall apart, it won’t be this week against a Titans side who have already well and truly reached that level.
Sea Eagles by 8.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of this Round 11 NRL match from 6pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 6pm (AEST)
Venue: Lottoland, Manly
TV: Live, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, Kayo Sports, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Sea Eagles $1.42, Titans $2.90
Overall record: Played 18, Sea Eagles 10, Titans 8
Last meeting: Round 23, 2018 – Titans 42 defeat Sea Eagles 34 at Lottoland, Manly
Last five: Titans 3, Sea Eagles 2
Record at venue: Played 7, Sea Eagles 4, Titans 3
Referees: Matt Cecchin, Phil Henderson
Manly Sea Eagles
1. Brendan Elliott 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Dylan Walker 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Cade Cust 7. Kane Elgey 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14. Manase Fainu 15. Jack Gosiewski 16. Corey Waddell 17. Morgan Boyle 18. Taniela Paseka 19. Jade Anderson
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 18. Jack Stockwell 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Bryce Cartwright 10. Moeaki Fotuaika
Interchange: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Shannon Boyd 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Jai Whitbread 19. Max King 20. Ryley Jacks