The Titans will unleash the 'Coaltrain' against the Tigers. Picture: Adam Head/dailytelegraph.com.au
Gold Coast Titans v Wests Tigers
Sunday, March 16 – 2.05pm (AEST)
Cbus Super Stadium
Things you need to know:
Ironman Gold Coast prop Luke Douglas is battling to play after suffering a thumb injury in Monday night's 18-12 win over Cronulla. Ironically, Douglas only broke Jason Taylor's record of 194-consecutive games in the season-opener. X-Rays have cleared the prop of a fracture but he have further scans and treatment through the week to prove his fitness. Ryan James is 18th man and would come into the side if Douglas misses out. Tigers coach Mick Potter has stuck faith with the same side who were crushed 44-24 by the Dragons in the season-opener. Despite a nasty concussion in round one, Liam Fulton has been named in the back-row but he will be monitored during the week. Keith Galloway and David Nofoaluma are on a six-man bench.
Reason to watch:
Standing at 188cms and weighing 121kg you can't miss Titans back-rower David Taylor. The Mercurial forward has the ability to terrorise opposition defences with his power and skill. Consistency has been his major issue over the last few seasons but he showed a lot more maturity in the season-opener against the Sharks. You should always expect the unexpected when it comes to the 25-year-old and he could have a field day against a Tigers defence that had plenty of holes in it last weekend. It will also be interesting to see if warhorse Luke Douglas lines up. The prop broke the record for consecutive matches last weekend (195) but suffered a thumb injury and is in severe doubt to play.
Reason to turn away:
A problem with playing matches in Queensland so early in the season in the middle of the afternoon is that temperatures are still quite high. It's forecasted to be 31 degrees come kick off on Sunday and the heat and humidity can often ruin the spectacle in the early rounds. Most players are still trying to find their match fitness and will fatigue much quicker which ultimately leads to more mistakes and less appealing football.
"It'll be good to get back up there but when it's all said and done, the business is on the field. I'll be trying to do the best that I can for the club and for myself. It'll be good to catch up with a few faces after the game and all that, but hopefully it'll be good to get the job done first." – Former Titans, now Tigers, back-rower Bodene Thompson
Performances in the opening round aren't always a gauge of how a side will travel for that season but it already looks like being an arduous campaign for the Tigers. They went with the Dragons for a good hour but were then blown away in the final 20 minutes by a side many predict will get the wooden spoon. On the other hand, the Titans showed the type of grit and resilience needed to be successful. If they can get their lightning-quick backline more into the game, they should have too much quality for the visitors. Titans by 14
Coverage on Channel 9
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