This game pits a side who are preparing for a finals campaign against another who will be keen to put in a performance for an incoming coach.
Sydney Roosters come into this one after beating Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the Shire last weekend with an 80th minute Michael Gordon penalty goal. A win against the Titans will bank second spot for them at the end of the regular season.
2017 has been a painful year for the Titans and has culminated in the sacking of former head coach Neil Henry and the almost league-wide ridicule of star man Jarryd Hayne. They do have the chance to finish on a high when they travel south to take on the high-flying Roosters.
The Roosers control their own destiny in the ladder and Trent Robinson’s men will see the Titans as the ideal opponent to secure second spot behind the all-conquering Melbourne Storm.
2017 – Rd 1 Sydney Roosters 32 def. Gold Coast Titans 18 at Cbus Super Stadium
2016 – Rd 10 Gold Coast Titans 26 def. Sydney Roosters 6 at Cbus Super Stadium
2015 – Rd 16 Sydney Roosters 20 def. Gold Coast Titans 10 at Allianz Stadium
2014 – Rd 22 Sydney Roosters 26 def. Gold Coast Titans 18 at Allianz Stadium
2013 – Rd 25 Gold Coast Titans 30 def. Sydney Roosters 22 at Allianz Stadium
These two clubs have only met on 15 occasions with the Titans holding a narrow advantage in the overall head-to-head. The Roosters have, however, won three of the last five games including a 32-18 victory in the 2017 curtain raiser.
|SYDNEY ROOSTERS||GOLD COAST TITANS|
|Michael Gordon||1||1||Jarryd Hayne|
|Latrell Mitchell||2||2||Anthony Don|
|Ryan Matterson||3||3||Phillip Sami|
|Mitchell Aubusson||4||4||Leivaha Pulu|
|Blake Ferguson||5||5||William Zillman|
|Luke Keary||6||6||Kane Elgey|
|Mitchell Pearce||7||7||Ashley Taylor|
|Jared Waerea-Hargreaves||8||8||Morgan Boyle|
|Jake Friend||9||9||Pat Politoni|
|Dylan Napa||10||10||Agnatius Paasi|
|Boyd Cordner||11||11||Kevin Proctor|
|Aidan Guerra||12||12||Joe Greenwood|
|Isaac Liu||13||13||Max King|
|Zane Tetevano||14||14||Jamal Fogarty|
|Sio Siua Taukeiaho||15||15||Nathaniel Peteru|
|Kane Evans||16||16||Eddy Pettybourne|
|Connor Watson||17||17||Ben Nakubuwai|
|Joseph Manu||18||18||Keegan Hipgrave|
|Victor Radley||19||19||Alexander Brimson|
|Lindsay Collins||20||20||Kobe Tararo|
|Mitchell Cornish||21||21||Api Noema-Matenga|
The Facts That Matter
In a stark contrast to their opponents, the Roosters have been a steady ship over the last few weeks. Robinson has had the luxury of naming an unchanged side from the one that triumphed against the Sharks last weekend.
The win against Cronulla marked the Roosters’ fourth victory in their last six matches and it is this form, along with a stumble by the Broncos, that has landed the Roosters in second place.
The Roosters also have the benefit of playing after Brisbane, meaning they will know whether they need a win or not to finish in the top two.
Gold Coast Titans
This current incarnation of the Gold Coast Titans will have to go well above and beyond your standard David and Goliath type performance when they take on the Chooks.
Only six of the 21-man squad boast more than 50 NRL games in their inexperienced side, with nine players making their debuts for the club so far in 2017.
After the off-field issues, the sacking of Henry and their poor performances on the pitch, you could forgive fans of the Gold Coast club for cheering at full time regardless of the result, as it would signal the end of a torrid year.
There is always a chance in sport that the underdog may triumph, it’s that thought that keeps us coming back each week, but it’s tough to muster much enthusiasm for the Titans’ cause this weekend.
Should they get the job done, and walk away with two competition points to finish the year, this could rank as one of the gutsiest wins in the club’s short but growing history.
It is almost impossible to tip the Titans in this one. Their only hope is that the Broncos lose on Thursday night and the Roosters rest a bunch of star players ahead of the finals. Roosters by 13+ is the safe bet.
How do you see this clash panning out, the Roosters or the Titans winning? Let us know in the comments and poll below.
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