After a baptism of fire against Craig Bellamy last week, new Titans coach Craig Hodges will be hoping to find the right words to inspire his team to serve it up to their big-city rivals.
While they never really looked like beating Melbourne, the Titans delivered a wholehearted effort and made the competition leaders earn their 15th win of the season.
Working in their favour this weekend is the fact they have already beaten the Broncos this season (26-18 in round 13) and they certainly won't let fear hold them back.
Brisbane scored a convincing win over the Bulldogs last week and are hovering just outside the top eight, waiting for any team to slip up.
Titans: Anthony Don (in jersey No.22) comes onto the wing and Dale Copley moves into the centres in the reshuffle to accommodate Brian Kelly's absence. Sam Stone starts with Bryce Cartwright to come off the bench. England centre Kallum Watkins will make his NRL debut against the Broncos. AJ Brimson partners Tyrone Roberts in the halves with Ryley Jacks (ribs) being rested. Michael Gordon resumes his usual fullback role. Mitch Rein and Brenko Lee were omitted at the 24-hour mark, and Jacks and Will Matthews dropped out of the extended bench an hour before kick-off. The Titans have defeated the Broncos in two of their past three games.
Broncos: Matt Gillett is out with a lower back injury, with Tevita Pangai jnr moving to the edge and Joe Ofahengaue starting at lock. Rookie Keenan Palasia joins the bench. Gehamat Shibasaki joined Gillett as the two omitted at the 24-hour mark, while Herbie Farnworth and Xavier Coates dropped off the reserves list on game day. The Broncos have defeated the Titans by a combined 88-0 in their past two games at Cbus Super Stadium.
A big challenge for the Titans' engine room on Saturday night. Brisbane got strong performances from several of their forwards last week and it's up to Jarrod Wallace, Moeaki Fotuaika, Jack Stockwell and Kevin Proctor to lead the way against Matt Lodge, Payne Haas, Tevita Pangai and David Fifita.
For the Titans to win
Hodges will be reviewing the Titans' 26-18 defeat of the Broncos in round 13 and might go with the what-worked-once-can-work twice theory. But the reality is that Broncos coach Anthony Seibold will make some adjustments and be ready for the same strategies from the previous meeting. The Titans need to get more proficient at cracking opposing defences and find a way to score more points.
For the Broncos to win
The Broncos have a lot more at stake and should produce a performance that shows how much they want to play finals football. They will want to avenge losing to the Titans in round 13 so motivation should be high. Brisbane should look to gain control through their forwards, while Kotoni Staggs will be keen to back up last week's tremendous display.
Brett Kimmorley says
It’s normally the second week where we get a victory from a new coach. The Titans jumped out of the blocks last week but when it got hard they lost a bit. The Brisbane forward pack is flying – big, strong and powerful. Skipper Darius Boyd has come up with some good touches over the past few weeks. I expect that to continue. Broncos by 12
Brisbane backrower Tevita Pangai has surged to the top of the NRL leaderboard for offloads (43), Anthony Milford has gained the most kick metres (6,537), while winger Corey Oates ranks in the top five for line breaks (13).
And another thing ...
New Titans coach Craig Hodges has spent a lot of time living on the Gold Coast and reckons he has a good feel for what Titans fans want to see from their football team. Hodges is confident he can build a winning team. "You'll see a very hard-working group," he said. "You'll certainly see a different mentality about what we're doing. There have been some changes made."