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The Gold Coast Titans will be zeroing in on their first NRL finals campaign – and the chance of snatching the minor premiership – when they host the Wests Tigers at Skilled Park on Saturday August 29, 2009.

Since their maiden season in 2007, the Titans have taken two years to establish themselves in the NRL and have now emerged as one of the genuine title contenders, with a win over the Tigers this weekend assuring them of a top-four finish.

That will be crucial to the Gold Coast’s chances of pushing deep into the finals.

A a top-four finish ensures they have two bites of the cherry in the finals, and also gain a crucial home match in the first week of the play-offs.

The Titans are still in with a chance of winning the minor premiership, should they win both their remaining matches and both the Dragons and Bulldogs go winless in the last two rounds.

But the last two rounds will be anything but a walk in the park for the Titans.

First up they play the Tigers, who remain in the hunt for the finals just outside the top eight.

The Gold Coast will then finish the regular season against Manly, who are battling it out with Melbourne for a spot in the top four.

For this weekend, Titans coach John Cartwright has made a number of changes to the bits-and-pieces Gold Coast team that beat Cronulla 20-10 in Round 24.

While the Sharks are neck-and-neck with the Roosters in the race for this year’s wooden spoon, Cronulla took it to an unsettled Gold Coast team forced into a number of late changes.

This week against the Tigers, a bit of stability returns to the Titans – most notably with the return of dependable State of Origin lock Ashley Harrison to the Gold Coast’s No.13 jersey.

Mat Rogers remains at five-eighth and Preston Campbell at fullback after last weekend’s late changes, while Esi Tonga has been replaced in the centres against the Tigers by former Storm utility Sam Tagatese.

Titans co-captain Scott Prince captained the Tigers to the premiership four years ago, and will be looking for a big game against his former club.

NRL ROUND 25, 2009

GOLD COAST TITANS

VS WESTS TIGERS

SATURDAY, 29 AUGUST, 5.30PM

SKILLED PARK, ROBINA

TITANS

1.           Preston Campbell

2.           Kevin Gordon

3.           Sam Tagataese

4.           Jordan Atkins

5.           David Mead

6.           Mat Rogers

7.           Scott Prince (c)

8.           Luke Bailey (c)

9.           Nathan Friend

10.         Matthew White

11.         Anthony Laffranchi

12.         Mark Minichiello

13.         Ashley Harrison

INTERCHANGE

14.         Michael Henderson

15.         Brad Meyers

16.         Luke O'Dwyer

18.         Josh Graham

Coach: John Cartwright

 

TIGERS

1.           Tim Moltzen

2.           Blake Ayshford

3.           Dean Collis

4.           Chris Lawrence

5.           Rhys Hanbury

6.           Benji Marshall

7.           Robert Lui

15.         Danny Galea

9.           Robbie Farah (c)

10.         Keith Galloway

11.         Gareth Ellis

12.         Todd Payten

13.         Chris Heighington

INTERCHANGE

14.         John Morris

16.         Corey Payne

17.         John Skandalis

18.         Dene Halatau

 Coach: Tim Sheens