Parramatta Eels fans would have been expecting this match to be their eighth win in a row but their run was ended by Newcastle Knights last week. Instead, their top four spot will be on the line against the Titans.
Gold Coast Titans will be eager to take a bit of anger out on the field after being whipped by the Tigers, Broncos and then Dragons in successive weeks. Tonight will be a big test of their character although they have displayed that in abundance for the majority of the season.
Brad Arthur is one of the best coaches in the competition and will have his boys primed after last week’s shock defeat. Their experienced forwards and exciting backs can rip holes through any side.
The Titans will have to defend man for man and take their chances when they arrive. A lot of players have a point to prove with the imminent arrival of a new coach.
2017 – Rd 3 Gold Coast 26 def. Parramatta Eels 14 at Cbus Super Stadium
2016 – Rd 14 Parramatta Eels 22 def. Gold Coast Titans 12 at TIO Stadium
2016 – Rd 20 Gold Coast Titans 34 def. Parramatta Eels 14 at Cbus Super Stadium
2015 – Rd 6 Gold Coast Titans 38 def. Parramatta Eels 16 at Pirtek Stadium
2015 – Rd 21 Gold Coast Titans 24 def. Parramatta Eels at Cbus Super Stadium
The Titans produced a backs against the wall performance in round three this year. They were light on troops but Ashley Taylor inspired his side to upset the in-form Eels. They picked up injuries during the match too however they had enough about them to earn the points.
The 2017 win continued the Gold Coast club’s strong recent record against Parramatta, making it four victories from the last five meetings.
Parramatta won’t look too much into the their poor record. But a fifth loss from six against the Titans, particularly after the two club’s respective seasons, would damage their confidence ahead of the finals series.
|Bevan French||1||1||Phillip Sami|
|Semi Radradra||2||2||Anthony Don|
|Michael Jennings||3||3||Dale Copley|
|Brad Takairangi||4||4||John Olive|
|Kirisome Auva’a||5||5||William Zillman|
|Corey Norman||6||6||Tyrone Roberts|
|Mitchell Moses||7||7||Ashley Taylor|
|Siosaia Vave||8||8||Jarrod Wallace|
|Cameron King||9||9||Nathan Peats|
|Tim Mannah||10||10||Ryan James|
|Manu Ma’u||11||11||Kevin Proctor|
|Tepai Moeroa||12||12||Joe Greenwood|
|Nathan Brown||13||13||Max King|
|Daniel Alvaro||14||14||Kane Elgey|
|Kenny Edwards||15||15||Nathaniel Peteru|
|Suaia Matagi||16||16||Leivaha Pulu|
|Peni Terepo||17||17||Paterika Vaivai|
|David Gower||18||18||Morgan Boyle|
|Will Smith||19||19||Ben Nakubuwai|
|Frank Pritchard||20||20||Phillip Sami|
|Josh Hoffman||21||21||Eddy Pettybourne|
The Facts That Matter
After being stunned by Newcastle last week, Parramatta must win at least two of their last three games to retain control of their top four hopes. They cover plenty of yardage every match and this will prove pivotal against a Titans team that could struggle to match the Eels across the full 80 minutes.
Nathan Brown is a contender for signing of the season, making 153m and 33 tackles on average per game. His work rate has increased massively since last year at the Rabbitohs and could be vital in tonight’s clash. It was a genius move from Arthur to bring the forward to the Eels, where his fortunes have turned around on the back of pure hard work.
Mitchell Moses ran the show prior to the Newcastle defeat. He is showing the maturity to steer the team around and is the perfect foil for Corey Norman.
Gold Coast Titans
It’s not been the easiest season for those of a Gold Coast persuasion. Talisman Jarryd Hayne isn’t named in the team for what will be Neil Henry’s last game in charge. The players should be motivated to show the incoming coach that they deserve their place in the team.
Ashley Taylor burst onto the scene last year and has stamped his name as one of the brightest young talents in the NRL, performing superbly for most of 2017. During the week, he came out with Kane Elgey and claimed that Henry does not give the pair enough freedom to utilise their abilities. Labelled a ‘codswallop’ by Mal Meninga, Taylor may have some skeptical eyes on him. He needs to turn his own form around.
A win tonight for the fans would be massive. They are a club going through a struggle and yet their supporters still turn up every week. It’s about time the players returned the favour with a committed performance.
They have no Hayne and it is Henry’s last match as coach, however the Titans players will still want to avoid a miserable end to the season. The Eels need the points to keep the pressure on the top four and secure a double finals chance. They should have too much across the park to lose, particularly with Bevan French returning from injury. Eels by 10.
Who will win this Saturday night free to air clash between Parramatta and the Titans? Let us know in the comments below.
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