Sunday’s first NRL Round 22 match is between Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors. The opening bounce is set to commence at 14:05 local time with the game to be played at Cbus Super Stadium. The away team New Zealand Warriors are the favourites for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors.
When: 14:05 | Sunday 07/08/2016
Where: Cbus Super Stadium
Tip: New Zealand Warriors at $2.67
Value Tip: First Try Scorer: Shaun Johnson at $14.00
Titans: 1 David Mead 2 Anthony Don n3 Josh Hoffman 4 Konrad Hurrell 5 Nene MacDonald 6 Tyrone Roberts 7 Ashley Taylor 8 Luke Douglas 9 Nathan Peats 10 Ryan James 11 John Zebelon Taia 12 Chris McQueen 13 Greg Bird. Interchange: 14 Eddy Pettybourne 15 Leivaha Pulu 16 Agnatius Paasi 17 Cameron Cullen 18 Ryan Simpkins.
Warriors: 1 Tuimoala Lolohea 2 Ken Maumalo 3 David Fusitu’a 4 Solomone Kata 5 Manu Vatuvei 6 Thomas Leuluai 7 Shaun Johnson 8 Jacob Lillyman 9 Issac Luke 10 Albert Vete 11 Bodene Thompson 12 Ryan Hoffman (c) 13 Simon Mannering Interchange: 14 Nathaniel Roache 15 Sam Lisone 16 Ben Matulino 17 Bunty Afoa 18 Blake Ayshford.
The Warriors, boosted by their golden-point victory over Penrith to move into the NRL top eight, have chosen an unchanged starting 13 to face Gold Coast.
Tuimoala Lolohea is retained at fullback for Sunday’s match at Robina, meaning David Fusitu’a will play in the centres for the second week in a row.
The starting pack includes prop Albert Vete and ex-Titans back-rower Bodene Thompson, both late inclusions in the 20-16 win over the Panthers.
Coach Andrew McFadden has selected a five-man bench which features the return of rookies Nathaniel Roache and Bunty Afoa.
The others on the interchange are props Ben Matulino and Sam Lisone and centre Blake Ayshford.
The Warriors sit eighth on the table, one point below the Titans, after on Monday night’s fighting 18-18 golden-point draw with competition frontrunners Cronulla.
The Auckland club will back up from their third extra-time match in three weeks, their fourth in the past five games and fifth this year – all NRL records in a season.
Despite the added workload, assistant coach Justin Morgan said the team’s ability to see out matches and their improved defence was encouraging.
“While we’ve been in a lot of tough battles lately, it has been pleasing to see the way we’ve been able to finish strongly,” he said.
“Our defence has also been much improved. We’re not doing anything any differently there from what we’ve done all season, but it has taken time for the new system to bed in with the players.”
Warriors: Tuimoala Lolohea, Ken Maumalo, David Fusitu’a, Solomone Kata, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Shaun Johnson, Jacob Lillyman, Issac Luke, Albert Vete, Bodene Thompson, Ryan Hoffman (capt), Simon Mannering. Res: Nathaniel Roache, Sam Lisone, Ben Matulino, Bunty Afoa, Blake Ayshford.
*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change