Monday night’s match has the Gold Coast Titans ready to fight the Sydney Roosters, and is a cracker game to close the round with as these two face each other at Skilled Park for the first time.
The Titans have been narrowly pushed out of second spot by the Panthers recently, and will be eager to stick around at the top end with a home game win here.
Gold Coast are fresh off a bye from last week, which they will have enjoyed after the Broncos put an end to the Titans winning streak in Round 10, and are relatively untouched by Origin with only Ashley Harrison playing in Wednesday’s series opener.
A sensational record at Skilled Park and having beaten some of the competition’s best over the start of the season, the Titans will start as the hot favourites currently at short odds of $1.44 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Roosters on the other hand are the underdogs at $2.85 through Ladbrokes.com.au, after dropping out of the top eight following two recent losses to inferior teams, the Cowboys and the Knights. Sydney also had a bye last week and have just one player backing up from Origin with Nate Myles.
Sydney’s confidence will be boosted by the reappearance of their instrumental halfback Mitchell Pearce returning from injury. Pearce badly injured his shoulder in the Rabbitohs ANZAC Day loss to St George Illawarra, taking him out of contention for the NSW’s No. 7 jersey for game one of Origin.
Pearce will be putting in a mighty performance on Monday hoping to be named on the Blues squad for game two, while Titans captain Scott Prince will be also showing off to selectors after being shunned from Origin.
Gold Coast get back centre Clinton Toopi, and should have the class to prevail at home as long as they keep a lid on Sydney’s Todd Carney who will be back to his best in the No. 1 jumper.
It will be a tight one in favour of the home side, and depending on how the Dragons and Panthers go in their games this week, Titans could just be in the top spot come Tuesday morning.
Current Head-to-Head Odds: Titans $1.44 – Roosters $2.85 Ladbrokes.com.au
Round 12 Titans Team:
1. Preston Campbell 2. Kevin Gordon 3. Clinton Toopi 4. Joseph Tomane 5. David Mead 6. Greg Bird 7. Scott Prince (c) 8. Luke Bailey (c) 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Henderson 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison
Bench: 14. Matthew White 15. Brad Meyers 16. Sam Tagataese 17. William Zillman
Round 12 Roosters Team:
1. Todd Carney 2. Anthony Minichiello 3. Phil Graham 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Sam Perrett 6. Braith Anasta (c) 7. Mitchell Pearce 8. Jason Ryles 9. Jake Friend 10. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 11. Mitchell Aubusson 12. Nate Myles 13. Frank Paul Nuuausala
Bench: 14. Daniel Conn 15. Mose Masoe 16. James Aubusson 17. Nick Kouparitsas