Titans Ready For Storm

Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
William Zillman has scored six tries in as many matches. Source: Getty Images/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 23, 2012 – Melbourne Storm 24 d Gold Coast Titans 16 at AAMI Park
Round 3, 2012 - Melbourne Storm 30 d Gold Coast Titans 6 at Skilled Park
Round 23, 2011 - Melbourne Storm 40 d Gold Coast Titans 16 at Skilled Park
Round 2, 2011 - Melbourne Storm 40 d Gold Coast Titans 12 at AAMI Park
Round 5, 2010 – Gold Coast Titans 20 d Melbourne Storm 16 at Skilled Park

Current Form

  Rd 10    Rd 11    Rd 12    Rd 13    Rd 14 
Titans

L

W

W

-

L

Storm

D

W

-

W

W


The Titans  have been going about their business quietly in 2013 and find themselves in fifth on the competition ladder going into their match against the Storm  at Skilled Park on Monday night. While many wrote them off as a serious threat to the top teams at the start of the year, they got within six points of the table-topping Rabbitohs last week and will be confident of knocking off defending premier Melbourne this week.

Greg Bird and Nate Myles are unavailable for the Titans on State of Origin duty, but Ashley Harrison has been named after being overlooked by Queensland selectors. Experienced backrower Mark Minichello returns to the squad after being a late withdrawal against Souths with a hamstring injury last Sunday, while Mark Ioane has been named to make his fourth appearance in the NRL off the bench.

Highly regarded youngster Ben Hampton, Slade Griffin and Tohu Harris come into the starting side for the Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Ryan Hoffman, while Cooper Cronk is also in camp with the Maroons after being rested by Craig Bellamy last week. With Hampton starting alongside Brett Finch in the halves, English international Gareth Widdop will wear the number one jersey.

1st Tryscorer

William Zillman  didn’t manage to get on the scoresheet in 2013 till he scored against the Warriors in round eight, but he has been unstoppable since then. He has six tries from as many matches and he opened the scoring against the Cowboys earlier this month.

Justin O’Neill  was drafted into the Maroons game one State of Origin squad as cover for Darius Boyd last month and will want to keep his name at the forefront of selectors minds against the Titans. He has five tries from nine matches this season, the most of any Melbourne player lining up this weekend.

Prediction

The Storm traditionally struggle at this time of year and will see this as a real danger game despite the fact they have been the Titans in the past four meetings between the sides. In the absence of their four Origin players, Craig Bellamy will look to the likes of Brett Finch and Gareth Widdop to step up and call the shots but the Gold Coast has a decent pair of playmakers in Aidan Sezer and Albert Kelly themselves. That pair have played a big part in the Titans success this season and can mastermind another win on the back of their strong forward pack. Gold Coast Titans by 4

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