NRL - ROUND 18 PREVIEW
Titans vs Warriors
Saturday 7th July, 7:30pm
Underwhelmed? I know I was. Who else was hungover, sitting around the TV doing shots last Sunday afternoon with their mates? I know I was. I had fleeting moments of cloudy optimism, however at the end of the day I couldn’t help but feel this was very much the same old shit sandwich. Anyway, now that the Origin fap-fest has come to a close it’s time to move on to Skilled Park, I’ll be there…will you?
What a way to make that under-strength Cowboys team look good. All they had to do was wait until our few form players left the field, complete a few sets, kick a few balls, and wait for our inevitable mediocrity to set in. Kudos to them and all that, but in reality if we were a team capable of anything decent we would have shut the gate a lot earlier.
The Titans had the week off though there’s doubt they’ll have all their Origin boys back. Despite a terrible start to the season, this team seems to be getting it together at the right end of the season. They’re a better team than what we encountered at Mt Smart earlier this year, don’t expect this result to be similar.
Nathan Friend was excellent in his return last weekend. We finally looked like we had a clue out of dummy half. It seems our fortunes rely very heavily on the form of a certain few players, and whether or not they’re actually on the field.
Who else loves Konrad Hurrell? The Kondom is a try scoring machine and is fast becoming a fan favourite. I’ve been impressed with the way he’s improving on the little things in his game every week.
I’m not entirely sure what’s happening with Michael Luck…but this week on/week off stuff we’re seeing can hardly be beneficial to the overall flow of the team. I love the guy, but perhaps with 9 rounds left, and a body that clearly isn’t coping, it’s time to say enough is enough? Not sure, but this bench role and further time off is surely not the way forward for this team (for the rest of this year, or in preparation for next).
As for the Titans, well who could miss the massively overweight sight of Jamal Idris? None the less, he’ll be a handful. I expect Nate Myles to backup and the return of Bailey should help them front up to Matulino and co. Of concern specifically is Greg Bird – a player who seems to step up a level during and after Origin football, here’s hoping his injury gets the better of him this weekend. Scott Prince will be on song, and he knows where our weaknesses lie – repeat sets and solid, unspectacular football. We don’t associate them with scintillating attacking football, though that’s hardly what’s needed against our swiss cheese model of defence (to borrow that term from a friend).
Well, let’s be honest. If we lose on Saturday, it’s season over and the forum will implode. Okay the latter isn’t true, but the only thing I expect to be even on the night is the crowd. The Titans haven’t been playing bad football over the past month, and there’s a genuine belief here they can make the finals. For whatever reason we’re favourites, don’t put your house on it. Home advantage to get them over the line in a tight one: Titans 26 – 18.
Revised prediction: Alright I usually wouldn't do this as I like to stick by my initial thoughts. But I can't ignore the players that are now out of tomorrow's game (Bird, Bailey, Myles...). So as a revised prediction , I still think it'll be poor quality, but the Warriors should get up through a superior forward pack. Warriors 28 - 22.