The first of this Sunday’s matches feature a battle between the Titans and the Sea Eagles, in what is sure to be a history-making match, as the match is being played in Gladstone. The reason for this is that the Commonwealth Games are being held on the Gold Coast, and the Titans’ usual home ground is being used during the Games, meaning the Titans are playing their home games elsewhere.
After being comprehensively dominated by the Warriors and Dragons, the Titans emphatically returned to the winners’ circle on Easter Sunday, with a major upset victory over the Broncos, courtesy of a 26-14 scoreline. The victory over big brother came about, courtesy of some enterprising attack and staunch defence. Their latest victory meant it was only the second time they would defeat big brother at Lang Park, and their first as the visiting team.
For the Sea Eagles, they also returned to the winners’ circle, courtesy of a 32-16 victory over the winless Raiders at Lottoland. Like their demolition job over arch rivals the Eels, in round 2, this victory was in front of their supporters. Their defeats against the Knights and Rabbitohs have both eventuated when they were the visiting team. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how they fare, as they will be the visiting team once more.
Both teams are sure to rip into each other, given they both on two wins and two losses. Moreover, given that Sea Eagles halfback, Daly Cherry-Evans had signed a lucrative contract with the Titans in 2015, only to renege a short time later by pledging his allegiance to the Sea Eagles, has caused rancour amongst those involved with the Titans, it’s safe to say DCE is a hate figure on the holiday strip. Therefore, a hostile welcome is sure to be waiting in the wings for DCE.
2017 - Round 11 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30 def. Gold Coast Titans 10 at Cbus Super Stadium.
2016 - Round 15 - Gold Coast Titans 30 def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10 at Cbus Super Stadium.
2015 - Round 18 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 38 def. Gold Coast Titans 6 at Cbus Super Stadium.
2014 - Round 23 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 15 def. Gold Coast Titans 12 at Cbus Super Stadium.
2013 - Round 19 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 38 def. Gold Coast Titans 20 at Brookvale Oval (Lottoland).
As can be seen from the aforementioned recent meetings between the combatants, the Sea Eagles have generally had the wood over the Titans, with the 2016 encounter proving to be somewhat of an aberration. In fact, the men from the holiday strip have only tasted success against the men from the northern beaches on 6 occasions, out of the 16 overall matches played between the two teams. Of the 6 victories which have gone the way of the Titans, 4 of these victories have occurred on the Gold Coast. There have been no drawn matches between the teams.
|Gold Coast Titans||Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles|
|1||Michael Gordon||Matthew Wright|
|2||Anthony Don||Brad Parker|
|3||Dale Copley||Dylan Walker|
|4||Konrad Hurrell||Brian Kelly|
|5||Phillip Sami||Akuila Uate|
|6||Kane Elgey||Lachlan Croker|
|7||Ash Taylor||Daly Cherry-Evans|
|8||Jarrod Wallace||Addin Fonua-Blake|
|9||Nathan Peats||Apisai Koroisau|
|10||Ryan James||Martin Taupau|
|11||Kevin Proctor||Joel Thompson|
|12||Will Matthews||Frank Winterstein|
|13||Jai Arrow||Jake Trbojevic|
|14||Mitch Rein||Jackson Hastings|
|15||Max King||Shaun Lane|
|16||Bryce Cartwright||Lloyd Perrett|
|17||Morgan Boyle||Jack Gosiewski|
|18||Leilani Latu||Lewis Brown|
|19||Jack Stockwell||Tom Trbojevic|
|20||Keegan Hipgrave||Toafofoa Sipley|
|21||Tyronne Roberts-Davis||Taniela Paseka|
The facts that matter
After being exploited in defence in their opening three matches against the Raiders, Warriors and Dragons, the Titans incorporated a significant amount of steel in their defence last week, to cause one of the upsets of the round by defeating the Broncos, 26-14. As well as some staunch defence and frustrating big brother into making some rash decisions, they would play some enterprising football, which would result in some spectacular tries being scored. Moreover, it was this brand of football, which caused them to come from behind in their opening round victory over the Raiders.
Although the victory was unquestionably impressive, there is an area of concern for Garth Brennan and his troops. That is, the number of penalties which they conceded, as they were penalised 11 times, to the Broncos’ 4. If they can replicate the same game plan which they employed last week, and eliminate any needless penalties while continuing to minimise their missed tackle count, there is no reason whey they cannot claim a second consecutive victory, and their third for the season.
The Sea Eagles have endured a rather inconsistent start to their season, as it reads the following: loss to the Knights, victory over the Eels, loss to the Rabbitohs and victory over the Raiders. Given their impressive victory over the Eels, they were expected to defeat the then-winless Rabbitohs. Instead, they were brought back to Earth with a thud. Which is just as well they were able to account for the Raiders last week at home, otherwise they would have found themselves with one win and three losses to start their season.
Their victories for this season thus far have occurred at their home surroundings at Lottoland, while they have lost both their away matches. However, they are certainly in with a chance of victory in this match, given the Titans have had ongoing issues with consistency, as well as the fact that they have a solid record against the Titans, with 6 of their 10 victories happening in Queensland.
This match is sure to contain an endless supply of fireworks, with the Titans faithful sure to give Daly Cherry-Evans a very hostile welcome. Moreover, the Titans players are sure to make life difficult for DCE. It’s fair to say that all associated with the Titans have not forgotten this backflip, as they see it as a betrayal, and it’s unlikely they will forget this anytime soon.
In addition, both teams are coming off wins from their last matches, and are both on two wins and two losses each. Both teams are more than capable of playing enterprising footy and we can expect that from both teams, combined with some bruising play.
Although both teams are coming off big wins, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the Titans’ victory was more impressive. It’s likely to be a closely fought battle, but I think the Titans will just get over the line in front of their fans. Titans by 1.
Will the Titans bank a big win against the Sea Eagles or will it be Manly who end 80 minutes with another two competition points? Let us know in the comments below.