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The Sea Eagles will have renewed spring in their step after breaking their 2021 drought last week with a last-gasp 13-12 win over the Warriors.

They will need every ounce of that confidence because that is something in plentiful supply at the Titans off the back of an eight-try win against the Knights last round.

The Titans are seeking their fourth win after six rounds - they only had one at this stage last year - by playing a highly entertaining brand of football. They had eight line breaks and 30 tackle busts against the Knights.

The Sea Eagles weren't so shoddy with 27 tackle breaks against the Warriors but they are still the second-worst defensive side in the NRL at present.

Sea Eagles v Titans

The rundown

Team news

Sea Eagles: Gun fullback Tom Trbojevic has been locked in to make his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury. Trbojevic's last game was in round 19, 2020.

Josh Aloiai and Sean Keppie were promoted to the starting side on game day with Martin Taupau and Haumole Olakauatu shifting to the bench. Olakau'atu (elbow) and bench utility Cade Cust (virus) are both returning to the side. 

Dylan Walker, who filled in at the back in the opening five rounds, faces about eight weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Forward Jack Gosiewski could be out up to three months after suffering a foot injury in the drought-breaking win over the Warriors.

Zac Saddler dropped off the reserves an hour before kick-off, with Tevita Funa the 18th man. Christian Tuipulotu and Ben Trbojevic were the players omitted from the reserves list on Friday. 

The Sea Eagles will play their first NRL game in Mudgee.

Titans: Winger Phillip Sami has not passed HIA protocols after a head knock last week and coach Justin Holbrook confirmed on Friday that he would not suit up, with Jonus Pearson coming onto the wing for his first NRL start of 2021.

Veteran winger Anthony Don (hip) will sit out this round but the club expects he'll be "definitely right" for the following week's clash with South Sydney.

Herman Ese'ese and Sam McIntyre dropped off the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. Beau Fermor is 18th man.

The Titans have won four of their past five games against the Sea Eagles.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Sea Eagles is number 1 Tom Trbojevic
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 2 Jason Saab
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 3 Brad Parker
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Sea Eagles is number 4 Morgan Harper
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
  • Winger for Sea Eagles is number 5 Reuben Garrick
    Winger for Titans is number 21 Jonus Pearson
  • Five-Eighth for Sea Eagles is number 6 Kieran Foran
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley Taylor
  • Halfback for Sea Eagles is number 7 Daly Cherry-Evans
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty

Forwards

  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 8 Taniela Paseka
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Sea Eagles is number 9 Lachlan Croker
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Sea Eagles is number 17 Josh Aloiai
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 12 Josh Schuster
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Sea Eagles is number 16 Sean Keppie
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 David Fifita
  • Lock for Sea Eagles is number 13 Jake Trbojevic
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tyrone Peachey

Interchange

  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 10 Martin Taupau
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 11 Haumole Olakau'atu
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam Lisone
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 14 Cade Cust
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Jaimin Jolliffe
  • Interchange for Sea Eagles is number 15 Toafofoa Sipley
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Erin Clark

Reserves

  • Reserve for Sea Eagles is number 18 Tevita Funa
    Reserve for Titans is number 18 Beau Fermor

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Nick Beashel
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Josh Schuster v David Fifita: Second-rowers Fifita and Schuster bring a lot of excitement to their fans - and in the Titans' case, points. Fifita scored a hat-trick last round for a tally of six tries from five games.

Schuster scored his first at the weekend as the 106kg 19-year-old - a former NSW under-18s and under-16s player - is showing the promise many predicted.

Both players can certainly bust a tackle, change the momentum of a set, or put a teammate into a gap.

Stat attack

The Titans have had the wood on the Sea Eagles of late, winning four of the past five meetings since 2018, including putting 42 points on them in round 19 last year.

 

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