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Key Matchup: Taylor and Pearce

They’re perhaps the two mot recognisable players in their respective sides, and both have been playing good footy at the back end of the season.

As the Titans host the Newcastle Knights at Cbus Super Stadium in the final round of the 2020 NRL Season, we compare the stats from Ash Taylor and Mitchell Pearce.

With Jamal Fogarty alongside him and a mid-season shift to five-eighth, Taylor has re-found the form that makes him one of the most dangerous players in the competition with ball in hand.

The 25-year-old has missed just one game this season (Round 15 against Canberra) and like the Titans, his form has peaked as the season has gone on. 

Taylor has 12 try assists and 13 line break assists and his kicking game continues to be dangerous, forcing 9 drop-outs while he also averages 186 kicking metres per game.

The Titans playmaker leads his Knights counter-part in the majority of attacking stats, with Pearce still a major threat for the Newcastle side.

Having played every game this season, Pearce has 11 try assists and 9 line break assists while also having 9 forced drop-outs for the season.

The 31-year-old former Origin halfback has run the ball more than Taylor, averaging 68 running metres per game (Taylor averages 53 metres per game).

Injuries have meant that Pearce has had a number of different halves partners in 2020, but it will be the number seven who will have a big say on how far the Knights will progress through the finals series.

The combinations with their fullbacks (Taylor with AJ Brimson and Pearce with Kalyn Ponga) will also be important as the spines for both teams work off the back of impressive forward packs.

It’ll be a great match up, with Taylor looking to lead the Titans to five-straight wins and Pearce looking to take the Knights into the finals with winning form.