By Stephen Gallagher
MATCH OF THE ROUND: ROUND 03 – Gold Coast Titans V Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – Saturday, Skilled Park. 16.30 local time, 19.30 NZ time.
LAST WEEK: Gold Coast nilled the Canberra Raiders in a prolific first half performance, taking the honours 36-0.
Much like the Titans, Manly Warringah also kept their opponents to nothing, comprehensively thumping the Newcastle Knights 32-0.
THIS WEEK: The Titans have two gun halves that are making their side look outstanding. The confidence to be taken out of last weeks match in 42 degree heat will be a dream for the side and coach John Cartwright. Albert Kelly and Aidan Sezer are reinventing the wheel and making sure things are getting done. It’s great to see some success at the Titans. Another home game will help, this time in cooler conditions.
Undefeated after only two matches, but the Sea Eagles are sure doing things emphatically. Two solid defensive displays have the other teams on standby. A team that lost a few players in the off season look like a side that has the credentials already to win a Premiership. If they continue to deliver the big hits on defence, this could really make things interesting.
WHAT TO EXPECT: The ball is best with the backs on the Gold Coast. With the youthful exuberance taking centre stage – there is nothing stopping the Titans from scoring quality tries. The forward pack made great metres last week and on the back of their halves can be a very dangerous side to face. The temperatures will also be in favour of the GC boys.
Manly will not step backwards whatsoever. A reputation of impressive skill and commitment has made this team an already formidable opponent in the year 2013. A fast D-line to encrouch on the running Titans forwards will be a big thing for this one. If they can limit the amount of go forward and keep the Titans in their own half – the Sea Eagles will be able to play their own game and dictate the result.
THE BATTLE OF: Centre-stage. Jamal Idris will line up after a big game on both attack and defence. Being a marquee player with plenty of reputation, the dreaded 110+ kilo’s of pure power would have any body thinking twice about running at, or trying to tackle. A reputation however needs to be backed up on the field.
Jamie Lyon will have his hands full, but this is nothing he can’t handle. Experienced and forever in form, this centre has the Manly side revolving around him. His cool head all over the park keeps the Sea Eagles in check. Hard to beat.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON: Greg Bird – Dyed his hair for a great cause, you can’t miss him on the field.
Jorge Taufua – Last year turned some heads with his try scoring abilities and doing the same again this year..
Both sides kept their opponents to nothing on the weekend, but this game won’t have the same result. The Titans will be favourites at home with a 20-16 effort.
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