Friday Night NRL

Picture: Peter Wallis/couriermail.com.au
Titans try scoring machine David Mead returns to take on the Broncos. Image courtesy of: couriermail.com.au

Titans v Broncos

The Gold Coast Titans  welcome back QLD state of origin representative Ashley Harrison for their Friday night round twenty blockbuster against the Broncos Harrison is a huge addition to a tradesman like Titans pack hoping to keep their finals hopes alive. Livewire winger David Mead also returns to the Titans starting side which is sure to add potency to an improved backline. Broncos winger Dale Copley has been sidelined with a fractured leg making way for impressive rookie Lachlan Maranta who will play his fourth first grade game.

History – The Broncos boast an impressive record against the Titans winning six games in a row the majority of which have been in convincing fashion. The Broncos ran away with the game in round eight, recording a 26-6 win at Suncorp Stadium on the back of an Alex Glenn first half double. The last time the Titans tasted success against the Broncos was in round twenty of the 2009 premiership season, the Titans will be hoping to turn that win into a lucky omen when they square off at the same ground and round this time around.

Dangermen – Titans star centre Jamal Idris showed glimpses of form against the Raiders last week and will throw his hand up for plenty of work against the Broncos. Brisbane centre Alex Glenn crossed for the games first try when these two sides met in round eight and has enjoyed plenty of success in 2012 scoring nine tries for the Broncos. 

Prediction – Both teams are spoilt in the forwards and boast arguably two of the strongest packs in the competition. The Broncos halves should prove too classy and should guide them to a narrow win. Broncos 1-12 .

Manly v Bulldogs

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler returns to Brookvale Oval in one of the most anticipated games of the season on Friday night. The Sea Eagles will be hoping to make last season’s premiership winning coaches’ visit an unhappy one with a win over the Bulldogs . Manly will be buoyed by the return of star pairing Glenn Stewart and Steve Matai, while Brett Stewart remains sidelined with an ongoing hamstring injury. Bulldogs workhorse Dene Halatau will be sorely missed after suffering a knee injury in last weekend’s convincing win over Parramatta while Sam Kasiano was cleared by the NRL judiciary for a high tackle on Fuifui Moimoi on Wednesday night and is free to take his place in the Bulldogs starting side.

History - There is plenty of rivalry between these two clubs and the Sea Eagles have enjoyed success in recent seasons winning seven of the past ten games including the past three. The Bulldogs last win against Manly was at Brookvale in round 26 of the 2010 season. Manly will take plenty of confidence into Friday night’s blockbuster after recording a hard fought round eight win on the back of a solid defensive display from Glen Stewart and Matt Balin.

Dangermen – Two of the best attacking teams in the competition, both sides enjoy plenty of firepower in their ranks capable of turning a game. Manly winger David Williams couldn’t have dreamed of a happier return from injury scoring four tries against the Eels two weeks ago and is always a danger on the Sea Eagles right flank. Bulldogs centre Josh Morris is in career best form and currently leads the NRL with sixteen tries for the season.

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