NRL Match Preview: Raiders v Titans

Fresh off a great win against the Cowboys in Townsville, the Raiders will have plenty of confidence for their return to GIO Stadium where they face the Titans on Saturday afternoon.

The Raiders' 18-8 win over the Cowboys last week came on the back of a huge defensive effort and ensured they enter Round 9 with wins from three of their last four games.

The Titans head into this clash after a 10-9 loss against the Sharks at home last week, their third straight defeat.

The Raiders have named an unchanged line-up this week, while the Titans have made one change with Ryan Simpkins set to replace Morgan Boyle on the bench.

Last Time:

It isn't that long ago that these sides met, with the Titans beating the Raiders 30-28 at Cbus Super Stadium in Round 1 earlier this year.

The Raiders raced out to lead 18-0 after just 11 minutes before being chased down by the Titans.

A Konrad Hurrell try under the posts with less than two minutes left secured a huge come from behind win for the Gold Coast.

Key Matchups:

Jarrod Croker vs Konrad Hurrell

Konrad Hurrell is one of the hardest running centres in the game and the Raiders captain will have his hands full trying to close him down on Saturday.

Hurrell hasn't quite been his explosive self in 2018. He hasn't scored a try since Round 1 and he leads the NRL in errors this season. While he might not be playing at his best, the Raiders know all too well the danger he poses after he broke their hearts with a late try earlier in the season.

Jarrod Croker has been solid through the first eight rounds, he's already scored five tries and he sits behind only Gareth Widdop for points scored. Croker will again be looking to lead his side by example this weekend against the Titans.

Aiden Sezer vs Ashley Taylor

Aiden Sezer's form has been superb in recent weeks, particularly his kicking game. Since emerging on top in a three-way battle with Sam Williams and Blake Austin for the two halves positions, his game has gone to another level.

Some of his kicks have made it look like he has the ball on a string and last week he was rewarded with a try after taking the line on. He comes up against Ashley Taylor, one of the best young halves in the game.

Taylor has led his side around the park all year and he has already laid on seven try assists and over 2000 kick metres. The Raiders will be wary of the threat Taylor poses, with him pulling off an incredible four try assists when these sides met in Round 1.

Junior Paulo vs Jarrod Wallace

All season the Raiders have been able to rely on Junior Paulo to run the ball up and provide an imposing figure in defence. Additionally, his one try so far this season came in Round 1 when the Raiders played the Titans, so he may be looking to double his season tally this week.

Jarrod Wallace has once again proven himself to be a vital component of the Titans' forward pack. His form earnt him a Queensland jersey last year and he will be in the running to play State of Origin again this season. Together, he and his captain, Ryan James, will provide a great test for Paulo and Sia Soliola in the middle.

Quote of the Week:

"It wasn't that long ago the Titans got one up on us, now at our home ground we want to put on a good performance for our fans and get them the two points." - Aidan Sezer

 

Head to Head: The Titans have had the better of things in previous matchups. They've won 12 of the previous 21 meetings, with the Raiders winning nine.