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Gold Coast Titans Vs New Zealand Warriors at CBUS Super Stadium, Sunday 2pm.
Return of the Hayne plane just one storyline in vital Top 8 clash on the coast!
The Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors clash this Sunday in what is shaping as a vital game in the make up of the top 8. Both sides are jostling for positions in the finals and currently sit 7th (Titans) and 8th (Warriors) on the table. However that isn’t the only storyline in this tantalizing match up. We have the much publicised return of the “Hayne Plane” and Konrad Hurrell coming against his former club. This match could have some serious fireworks!
Both sides know the importance of a win and will want to be collecting as many points as they can in the back end of the season in their bid to play finals football in 2016. With just 4 points separating 6th from 12th, there is high stakes on offer!
Last Meeting: New Zealand Warriors 27 defeated Gold Coast Titans 18 at Mt Smart Stadium.
The Warriors have exuded dominance over the Titans of late winning 10 of the last 11 including the last 4 clashes up on the Gold Coast. Troubled reading for Gold Coast fans? History doesn’t repeat though according to Split Enz? Or will it?
Who To Watch: For the Titans, all of the talk has been on Jarryd Hayne after signing on with the club on Wednesday morning and i wouldn’t be doing my job correctly if I didn’t mention him.
Regardless of match fitness or time away from the game, Hayne is a superstar, he has the X factor that leads him to be an attacking threat all over the field. A devastating ball runner who is blessed with pace and a brilliant step he will cause headaches for the Warriors defense is given space or time on Sunday. Don’t forget his ball playing skills, as this could really add impetus to the Titans attack considering youngster Cameron Cullen is playing in the halves. Hayne’s overall presence on the field and his leadership capabilities will cause his Titans team mates to lift around him, a great acquisition for a club on the up.
Who’s going to step up for the Warriors on Sunday? Shaun Johnson has been doing freakish things of late but he has also been ably supported by a cast of talented team mates. Isaac Luke has been phenomenal over the 2nd half of the year and his upturn in form has definitely benefited the Warriors.
His service out of dummy half has been very effective as he creates space for his playmakers. His combination with Shaun Johnson has blossomed into a well oiled machine as well.
Defensively, he can pull off some ripper hits for a small player and some of these tackles could swing the momentum of the game (particularly if he can force errors with his unconventional style of tackling). To understand the measure of the quality of player that Luke is, you only need to look at Souths struggles and the void in the hooker role that has affected them this year. One of the best hookers running around.
The Favourite: Gold Coast firmed as favourite playing at home against the traveling Warriors.
My Tip: What a game this will be! The return of Hayne is all that will be talked about and his inclusion is a big plus for the Titans. They will be up for this game and will see it as a real test of their attitude.
Titans by 8
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