Round 5 Preview: Titans vs Sea Eagles

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Gold Coast Titans vs Manly Sea Eagles
Marley Brown Oval
Sunday, 8th April, 2018
2pm (NSW, QLD), 4pm (NZ) 

1 Michael Gordon
2 Anthony Don
3 Dale Copley
4 Konrad Hurrell
5 Phillip Sami
6 Kane Elgey
7 Ashley Taylor
8 Jarrod Wallace
9 Nathan Peats
10 Ryan James (c)
11 Kevin Proctor
12 Will Matthews
13 Jai Arrow
Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Max King, 16 Bryce Cartwright, 18 Morgan Boyle
Reserves: 18 Leilani Latu, 19 Jack Stockwell, 20 Keegan Hipgrave, 21 Tyronne Roberts-Davis
Sea Eagles: 
1 Matthew Wright
2 Brad Parker
3 Dylan Walker

4 Brian Kelly
5 Akuila Uate
6 Lachlan Croker
7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c)
8 Addin Fonua-Blake
9 Apisai Koroisau
10 Martin Taupau
11 Joel Thompson
12 Frank Winterstein
13 Jake Trbojevic
Interchange: 14 Jackson Hastings, 15 Shaun Lane, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Jack Gosiewski
Reserves: 18 Lewis Brown, 19 Tom Trbojevic, 20 Toafofoa Sipley, 21 Taniela Paseka
The Gold Coast Titans needed a win last week and they shocked almost everyone with a brilliant 26-14 win against the Brisbane Broncos. Phillip Sami was on fire, scoring his first career hat-trick as the Titans went in for five tries against an underwhelming Broncos side. Sami will look to add to his tally, while the Taylor/Gordon experiment is starting to work out for Gold Coast. The experiment with the forward pack worked wonder, and they will keep the same 1-17 from last weeks upset.
Manly are also coming off a pretty strong win at home, taking the points against Canberra. Tom Trbojevic was incredible out the back, having a hand in all five tries as Manly went to a 2-2 record. With both of their wins coming at home, Manly will be looking to stage an early onslaught against the Titans in a bid to get an away win on the board. 
Tom Trbojevic is in doubt with an ankle injury, however he has been named in the extended squad. Matt Wright will move to fullback if he does not play, with Brad Parker named on the win as Dylan Walker comes back from injury. With Curtis Sironen and Frank Winterstein out for the season, Frank Winterstein will start in the second row and Jack Gosiewski comes onto the bench for his Manly debut. 
Key Match-Ups
Ash Taylor vs Daly Cherry-Evans
The halfbacks are generally a staple of any review that I end up doing, and this is no different. Ash Taylor has a hand in at least half of the Titans scoring opportunities in the last year, and his class was showing against the Broncos last week. His combination with Kane Elgey and Michael Gordon is starting to grow and in the last few weeks, Gordon has been more involved in second-phase plays. 
Daly Cherry-Evans is coming up against the team which he reneged against to stay at Manly for over a million a season. He has been the dominant half with Lachlan Croker sitting pretty in at 5/8, and his combinations with Tom Trbojevic are always something to look for. With "Turbo" potentially out this week, more of the game will be short passes through the hands of Cherry-Evans. He will need to step up if Manly want the away win. 
Phillip Sami v Akuila Uate
The hat-trick hero is wanting to repeat his performance from last week and he comes up against a former NSW Origin representative in Uate. Sami has threatened in the first few weeks, with a few chances going astray before last week. He is coming up against a winger who has been known to be a little bit of a turnstile at times, but can also be destructive at his best.
Akuila Uate is, at his best, one of the most destructive wingers in the league. His ability to charge back and break tackles is uncanny, however his ability to drop his lollies at times is almost as impressive on the other end of the spectrum. He has six errors to his name, and seven missed tackles in the last two weeks. Enough said.
Jai Arrow v Jake Trbojevic
Jai Arrow was a revelation at lock last week, with over 30 tackles and just over 150 metres to boot in a stunning performance. Jake Trbojevic is a bit of a try scorer if he is able to link up with Cherry-Evans and his brother, as well as being a bit of a stats machine himself. The two locks could very well have a great battle, aiming for each other in the guts of the field as well as being a decoy/passing player to set up the halves of Taylor and DCE. 
It is a tough one, with the Titans coming off a stunning upset and the Sea Eagles having a shocking away record. This one is very dependent on if Tom Trbojevic plays. The news seems to be leaning towards him being out, so I will go with the Titans officially. Unofficially, if Tom is back, Manly win.
Titans: 20-16


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