Gold Coast’s hooker curse appears set to claim Nathan Peats before the Titans attempt to stop Cronulla’s winning streak at 15 NRL matches on Monday night.
Peats has been battling a hamstring injury suffered in last week’s win over Parramatta and hasn’t trained with the seventh-placed Titans all week.
“We have still got a bit of time but at the moment he’s probably 60-40 against playing,” said Gold Coast coach Neil Henry on Sunday.
“He will be a big loss but we will just have to make do. We’ve had a bit of a curse with our hookers so we’ve got a few out.”
The injury continues Gold Coast’s run of outs with the dummy half role this year.
Nathan Friend, Keirran Moseley, Matt Srama, Daniel Mortimer and Karl Lawton are all sidelined due to injury.
Cameron Cullen filled in at dummy half during Sunday’s captain’s run.
Ryan Simpkins could also play there at Cbus Super Stadium on Monday night in the final game of round 21.
The Sharks can reclaim top spot on the ladder if they become just the third team in premiership history to win 16 straight matches in a season, behind Canterbury (17 in 2002) and Sydney Roosters (19 in 1975).
The Titans have been one of the season’s surprise packets and can stay well and truly in the hunt for a finals berth with a win.
“It is a really good challenge for us where the competition is now,” Henry said.
“You’ve got four teams on equal points (Titans, Warriors (8th), Panthers (9th), Wests Tigers 10th) and we need to win to stay ahead of the pack so it’s a good challenge.”
Origin forward Greg Bird returns from suspension for the home side.
The Sharks welcome back five-eighth James Maloney from a groin injury. NSW pivot Maloney sat out the last-start win over Newcastle.
* The Sharks have won the past two and six of the past nine against the Titans and will be chasing three straight wins against them for the first time.
* The Sharks are scoring the most points this season (26.7 per game) and are currently on track for their second best ever scoring season behind their 2002 season where they averaged 27.2 points through the regular season.
* Neil Henry will be chasing his 100th career win as coach in what will be his 220th match in charge. So far he has won 22 (from 49) for the Raiders, 58 (from 124) for the Cowboys and 19 (from 46) for the Titans.
Source: Fox Sports Stats