Wests Tigers v Gold Coast Titans Round 8 Preview

What: NRL Round 8
Who: Wests Tigers v Gold Coast
When: Sunday 27th April – 3pm
Where: Leichhardt Oval
I Can Watch It On: Channel Nine

Form Guide
WT – LWWLWWW
GC – WLWWWWL

Things You Need To Know:
Human wrecking ball James Gavet is a huge loss for the Tigers, the enforcer dropping out with a hamstring injury. Sitaleki Akauola is on the bench to accommodate the return of Liam Fulton.
The Titans’ only change is Mark Ioane coming in for the suspended Matt White. Surprisingly William Zillman is still out of the side after reports he was training last week.

Reason To Watch:
Two (surprise) heavyweights go head to head with the Tigers coming off three wins and playing their best footy in recent seasons. The Titans are firming in premiership contention after a 5-2 start to the season. The Tigers always aim up at Leichhardt, and their 42-12 win over the Titans earlier this season shouldn’t be brushed aside.

Reason To Turn Away:
Just when the Tigers thought they’d never hear of him again, Benji arrives home asking for forgiveness from the rugby league brethren. He won’t be in black and gold again but the mere mention of his name is guaranteed to start a blue in Tigertown.

Say What:
“I’m not getting ahead of myself – the coaching staff know it’s a long haul getting to the semis.” – Mick Potter is keeping it real despite the Tigers’ great start to 2014.

Final Word:
Recent form and home ground advantage will get the Wests Tigers across the line – but only just. WT by 6.

Sam Alexander

Story published on sportal – http://www.sportal.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/match-centre/314088/nrl

Titans Upset Storm in Thriller

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Melbourne Storm have suffered their second straight defeat with a 28-26 loss to the Gold Coast Titans in their NRL clash at AAMI Park.
What: NRL Round 5
Who: Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans
Result: Titans 28-26
When and Where: Sunday April 6 – AAMI Park
Crowd: 11,930
Match Rating: 8/10

80 MINUTES IN 80 SECONDS
This one see-sawed thoughout before ending in a nail-biter. Sisa Waqa’s 7th minute try set the tone for the match up, with the Titans hitting back in the 15th minute through a Kevin Gordon four pointer and again in the 18th minute thanks to a Brad Tighe try. The Titans opened up a handy lead but the Storm fought their way back to level at 26-all in the dying stages. A contentious late penalty goal saw the Titans sneak home for a memorable win – and pole position on the competition table.

WHO KILLED IT
Cooper Cronk had a massive impact on his side’s performance just when they needed an experienced head to lead the troops. Unfortunately for the Storm it wasn’t enough as an inspired Titans outfit, led by Albert Kelly, proved impossible to see off. Special mention to Sisa Waqa and David Mead for standout performances on the wing. Brad Takairangi’s crunching defence, continually shutting down Ryan Hoffman, also deserves praise.

WHO STUNK IT UP?
Although his overall performance was not bad, Ryan Hinchcliffe will be feeling horrible after conceding the penalty that led to the Titans winning conversion.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW
Dayne Weston was placed on report following a crusher tackle.

WHAT THE?
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy will be ropeable after a suspect penalty went the Titans’ way in the dying minutes, gifting them the win through a last minute goal, nailed by Greg Bird.

LOOK OUT UP AHEAD
The inspired Titans take on neighbours Brisbane on the Gold Coast on Friday, while the Melbourne Storm will be looking to bounce back against the Dragons at AAMI Park on Monday.

Sam Alexander

Published on sportal.com.au – http://www.sportal.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/gold-coast-titans-upset-melbourne-storm-with-last-gasp-penalty/1q7do123jjq361bkleu3uimmtt

Snake lingers as Titans down Cowboys

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What: NRL Round 4
Who: North Queensland Cowboys v Gold Coast Titans
Result: Titans 13-12
When and Where: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Crowd: 9482
Match Rating: 6/10

80 MINUTES IN 80 SECONDS
We told you to watch out if the Cowboys scored first considering their tendency to get points on the board early, only to drop like flies. Well, they certainly kept tradition going. The Cowboys came out flying with an early try to Johnathan Thurston following a Robert Lui high ball, but it was all downhill from there. With the Cowboys consistently butchering chances in the opposition 20, and a very sloppy exchange between both sides, it was shaping up to be a long night.
Kevin Gordon’s first try (courtesy of a Michael Morgan shocker) set the tone for the Titans who kept the momentum going, which soon led to Brad Tighe bagging a four pointer.
And the Cowboys, well it’s safe to say they had a shocker. They showed unbelievable consistency, all for the wrong reasons. The Cowboys threw away possession in the first or second tackle, nearly every set. A completion rate of 25/47 sums it up for the Cowboys. Unbelievably they scored a Hail Mary try after the siren, but that didn’t stop JT giving the boys an absolute spray before converting the two. They allowed an extremely average Titans side to roll over them.

WHO KILLED IT
It was hard to find a standout in such an ugly contest, but man-of-the-match Aidan Sezer did the job for his team. Both Titans tries came from his boot, and then he sealed the match with a cool as they come field goal. Albert Kelly was also a standout, always looking dangerous in attack, often seen haring down field.

WHO STUNK IT UP
There were more than a few Cowboys who should be featuring in this section, but Michael Morgan and Kyle Feldt come on down. Their blunders led to both Titans tries. But they shouldn’t feel too bad – most of the Cowboys were woeful.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW
Paul Green’s Cowboys side are going to be a tough one to pick this season, continuing their hot and cold form.

WHAT THE?
Spectators were astounded to see a 1m brown snake take the field in the 13th minute as it occupied the south-east corner. No wonder the crowd was sparse in that area.

LOOK OUT UP AHEAD
The hot and cold Cowboys take on the Knights at 1300SMILES Stadium Monday night, while the Titans look to continue their winning form against the Storm at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Sam Alexander

http://www.sportal.com.au/league/nrl-premiership/snake-lingers-as-titans-down-cowboys/1jvnpy901jply1509bycb2ge3d