With the first half of the season done and dusted, the Sydney Roosters' next challenge comes in the form of a Gold Coast Titans side on their home turf as two favourites return and a milestone man celebrates 250 NRL games.
Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans
Since 2007, the Roosters and Titans have played on 20 occasions, with the Red, White and Blue winning 12 of those contests with a 60% winning ratio against their opponents.
The recent form has gone the way of the Roosters, with the boys from Bondi winning the last six matches going all the way back to 2016, and have also won eight of the last ten contests.
In our last meeting in August 2020, penalty goals proved to be the difference between the two sides as Easts posted an 18-12 win against the Gold Coast at the Sydney Cricket Ground in a scrappy affair.
The Tricolours will be aiming to extend their winning ways from Round 12 in the form of two more competition points, while the Titans will be hoping their effort against the Melbourne Storm will put them in good stead in what will no doubt be a blockbusting contest between two of the attacking lynchpins of the NRL.
How They Line Up
Trent Robinson's side takes a different shape to the one that defeated the Canberra Raiders in Indigenous Round on the Central Coast.
James Tedesco once again takes the mantle as fullback and captain after guiding the Blues to a State of Origin Game I victory. He is joined by fellow stalwarts Daniel Tupou, Josh Morris and Matt Ikuvalu while Joseph Manu returns to the centres after deputising at five-eighth against the Raiders.
Fullback for Titans is number 21 Jayden CampbellFullback for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
Winger for Titans is number 2 Greg MarzhewWinger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian KellyCentre for Roosters is number 3 Josh Morris
Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick HerbertCentre for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip SamiWinger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley TaylorFive-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal FogartyHalfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod WallaceProp for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin ClarkHooker for Roosters is number 14 Adam Keighran
Prop for Titans is number 15 Jaimin JolliffeProp for Roosters is number 17 Fletcher Baker
2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
2nd Row for Titans is number 18 Sam Stone2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
Lock for Titans is number 16 Sam McIntyreLock for Roosters is number 13 Isaac Liu
Interchange for Titans is number 12 David FifitaInterchange for Roosters is number 9 Ben Marschke
Interchange for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiInterchange for Roosters is number 15 Egan Butcher
Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tyrone PeacheyInterchange for Roosters is number 16 Daniel Suluka-Fifita
Interchange for Titans is number 19 Joseph VunaInterchange for Roosters is number 19 Ben Thomas
Reserve for Titans is number 17 Esan MarstersReserve for Roosters is number 20 Brad Abbey
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Touch Judge: Michael Wise
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Lachlan Lam returns to the five-eighth role, while Sam Walker returns to the starting side at halfback after being rested in Round 12.
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves plays his 250th NRL match as Ben Marschke and Siosiua Taukeiaho once again line up with him the front row, while the forward pack will be bolstered by the return of Angus Crichton, who lines up in the back row with Sitili Tupouniua. Isaac Liu locks up the scrum in the no.13 jersey.
On the interchange bench, Adam Keighran will once again take on the utility role, joined alongside Egan Butcher, Daniel Suluka-Fifita, and Fletcher Baker. Tuku Hau Tapuha, Ben Thomas, Brad Abbey and Joseph Suaalii make up the extended bench.
Despite an inconsistent start to 2021, the Titans still possess a number of threats throughout their line up, including State of Origin players AJ Brimson, Jarrod Wallace, Moeaki Fotuaika, David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - and will be desperate to turn their fortunes around.
Key Matchup: Sam Walker vs Jamal Fogarty
It's rookie against captain as Sam Walker and Jamal Fogarty face off this Saturday afternoon.
After a well-deserved rest in the last fortnight, Walker will be looking to continue his stellar form in his first season of NRL as he returns to the line up and to Queensland to take on the Titans. Fogarty will be aiming to galvanise his side, who were competitive but came up just short against the Storm last weekend.
Despite playing five fewer matches than his opposite, Walker has proven to be a shining light for the Tricolours in a turbulent 2021 so far, scoring four tries, forcing two line dropouts and racking up an impressive ten try assists.
Comparatively, Fogarty has scored one try, laid on four line dropouts and set up six tries in his thirteen games - however his experience will bode him well as the main conductor for the home side.
Although there is nearly ten years difference in age between the pair, their performance and influence will be just as imperative for their respective sides to claim the all-important two competition points.
What They Said
With the first State of Origin game out of the way, returning troops and milestone man in Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, the Tricolours will no doubt be primed to put on a starring performance on the Gold Coast, but the Titans will be champing at the bit to change recent history and get back to their winning ways at Cbus Super Stadium.
Make sure to grab your tickets here, and if you can't make it to the game, be sure to head to easts to meet Victor Radley and Lindsay Collins as well as a number of Club Legends with a special live episode of Roosters Radio, in what will be an epic game-day experience!