The Roosters bounced back from a disappointing loss to Newcastle with a strong win over the Dragons last week, 30 – 22.
Being only their second win in the past five rounds it was a much needed result for the Roosters and was sparked by the return of Centre Michael Jennings who wasted no time in adding to his season tally of tries by bagging a double.
The return of Jennings gave the Roosters some sting in their back line which had been missing and contributing to their poor form.
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They get their chance to consolidate that win and build momentum has they head into the finals, by taking on the struggling Titans this week.
Further encouragement for the Roosters will be the announcement this week of Captain Anthony Minichiello’s retirement at the conclusion of this season.
Only change to the Roosters line up from last week will be Heath L’estrange at hooker for the in-jured Jake Friend. With Friend second in the competition for tackles, L’estrange has been shoes to fill.
All is not well at the Titans both on and off the field.
The condition of the club’s finances is still under scrutiny and nine losses form their past eleven matches, including last week’s 28 – 8 defeat to the Cowboys, has seen Coach John Cartwright throw in the towel and announce his resignation from the club.
The season has done a complete 180 for the Gold Coast club who led the competition after eight rounds with only two losses however, a string of injuries, suspensions and Origin commitments, has seen them struggle since.
North Queensland in Townsville followed by the Roosters in Sydney is a nasty double and with the atmosphere at the club at an all-time low, there is not much going for the Titans heading into this clash.
Again, there’s been several changes to the line-up for this match with William Zillman returning to fullback, allowing Kevin Gordon to replace the injured David Mead on the wing.
Luke Bailey is back and his return sees Nate Myles shuffled to the back-row.
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HEAD TO HEAD
Surprisingly, the Titans have won seven of the eleven games played between the two clubs since they joined the competition in 2007, including the last two clashes which were both played at Allianz Stadium and when the Titans started as the outsiders.
Whilst the Roosters haven’t been travelling at the best of their ability in the past month, there were good signs last week and with the Titans in turmoil, the Roosters should win this one well.
Roosters: Anthony Minichiello, Nene Macdonald, Michael Jennings, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Heath L’Estrange, Sam Moa, Boyd Cordner, Aidan Guerra, Frank Paul Nuuausala. Interchange: Mitchell Aubusson, Isaac Liu, Dylan Napa, Remi Casty, Kane Evans, Kurt Kara
Ins: Mitchell Aubusson, Kane Evans, Kurt Kara. Outs: Jake Friend (hamstring, round 24)
Titans: William Zillman, Kevin Gordon, James Roberts, Dave Taylor, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Brad Takairangi, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Bailey, Beau Falloon, Luke Douglas, Mark Minichiello, Nate Myles, Greg Bird. Interchange: Matt White, Mark Ioane, Paul Carter, Maurice Blair, Cody Nelson
Ins: William Zillman, Kalifa Faifai Loa, Mark Ioane. Outs: David Mead (hamstring, round 23), Brad Tighe (groin, indefinite)