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There's a distinct feeling the tide has well and truly turned in these "big v little brother" encounters in south-east Queensland.

Although the Broncos still lead the 30 career meetings with the Titans 20-10, the Gold Coast is scoring an average 22 points per game this year - the Broncos just 12. They halved that again in a hefty 46-6 loss to the Eels last round.

The Titans have won five of their past seven games against the Broncos, including a 28-12 victory at Cbus Stadium in round two this year. 

True, the Titans have only three wins in 2021 compared with one to the Broncos but the gulf in quality between the sides is much wider than four competition points. 

And Justin Holbrook, not Kevin Walters, has David Fifita in his ranks. Fifita scored twice against his old club in March and since then has scored two hat-tricks.

Broncos v Titans

The rundown

Team news

Broncos: Anthony Milford and Tyson Gamble replace Tom Dearden and Brodie Croft in the halves while Jesse Arthars returns from illness in place of David Mead in the centres.

Tesi Niu dropped off the extended bench on game day, with John Asiata the 18th man. Mead and Croft were the two players left out 24 hours before kick-off.

The Broncos have failed to score a point in their past four second halves.

Titans: Anthony Don returns from a hip injury on the wing, while new recruit Herman Ese'ese finally looks set to make his club debut after a seven-game wait via the bench. 

Beau Fermor replaces Erin Clark on the bench, with Clark the 18th man and Tanah Boyd dropping off the reserves list on game day.

Jai Whitbread and Darius Farmer were left out on the eve of the match.

The Titans have won five of their past seven games against the Broncos.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Jamayne Isaako
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Anthony Don
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Jesse Arthars
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Phillip Sami
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Corey Oates
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley Taylor
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Tyson Gamble
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Jordan Riki
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 David Fifita
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Patrick Carrigan
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tyrone Peachey

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Danny Levi
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Jaimin Jolliffe
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Thomas Flegler
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Herman Ese'ese
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Ethan Bullemor
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Sam McIntyre
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Rhys Kennedy
    Interchange for Titans is number 18 Beau Fermor

Reserves

  • Reserve for Broncos is number 19 John Asiata
    Reserve for Titans is number 14 Erin Clark

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Anthony Milford v Ash Taylor: Opposing five-eighths Milford and Taylor know plenty about copping the brunt of their team's losses and dealing with criticism. Milford was banished to Intrust Super Cup to 'find himself' and is back for another crack at engineering a Broncos win.

Seeing the gaps and putting teammates through them is something Taylor is doing better well at the moment. He had three line-break assists against the Rabbitohs last weekend. He also has forced four line drop-outs in five games this year.

Stat attack

It's all about David Fifita's return to Suncorp this week - he is second in the NRL leaderboard for tackle breaks (52) behind Panthers winger Brian To'o (55). Fifita is the only forward in that top 10 with everyone else a winger, centre or fullback.

 

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