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The Roosters Crow: Match Up in Mackay

The second leg of the Roosters' tour de Queensland begins this Saturday in Mackay as the Tricolours look to get back into the winners' circle against a desperate Gold Coast Titans outfit. 

Both sides will be aiming to claim victory after consecutive defeats - and if last year's pair of one-point thrillers is anything to go by, this is certainly one to watch.

Recent History: Sydney Roosters vs Gold Coast Titans

The Roosters and Titans take on one another for the 23rd time since 2007, the year the Gold Coast entered the National Rugby League in the Club's most recent rivalry. 

While it was a patchy start for Easts at first, the Roosters have dominated in recent years to extend their winning streak to eight consecutive matches - with their last loss to the Gold Coast coming back in 2016.

Our opponents this week, however, pushed the men from Bondi to the limit in their last two encounters, with Sam Walker field goals proving to be the difference in Round 14 (35-34) and in the first week of the 2021 finals series (25-24).

If those two fast-finishing contests are anything to go by, you can expect plenty of points and a tightly-fought battle in this one. 

Walker Stays Calm to Sink Titans

How They Line Up

Trent Robinson has made some minor changes to the line up this week, with Daniel Tupou brought back into the side having served his one-match suspension.

His return sees Kevin Naiqama shuffle back to the reserves, while Paul Momirovski is also back in the centres, with Adam Keighran ruled out of the contest.

The remainder of the team is unchanged, with James Tedesco captaining the team at fullback. Joseph Suaalii holds his place on the wing and will line up alongside Tupou, while Momirovski and Joseph Manu will again make up the centre pairing.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Greg Marzhew
  • Centre for Roosters is number 3 Paul Momirovski
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick Herbert
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Joseph Suaalii
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey Thompson
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Sam Walker
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Will Smith
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Luke Keary
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Toby Sexton

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Sam Verrills
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin Clark
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Lindsay Collins
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Isaac Liu
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tanah Boyd
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Drew Hutchison
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam Lisone
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Fletcher Baker
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Herman Ese'ese
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Sam McIntyre

Reserves

  • Replacement for Roosters is number 18 Lachlan Lam
    Replacement for Titans is number 18 Jamayne Isaako

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Butler
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Sam Walker and Luke Keary will continue to line up in the No.6 and No.7 jerseys respectively.

Lindsay Collins, Sam Verrills and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves line up in the front row, while the starting side is rounded off with Angus Crichton, Sitili Tupouniua and Victor Radley in the back row.

Finals Week One 2021 Match Highlights: Roosters vs Titans

Drew Hutchison, Fletcher Baker, Nat Butcher and Siosiua Taukeiaho make up the interchange bench, with Lachlan Lam named at 18th man.

Daniel Suluka-Fifita, Ben Marschke, Naufahu Whyte, Kevin Naiqama, Billy Smith and Renouf Atoni make up this week's extended bench.

Justin Holbrook's side has suffered a blow with second rower David Fifita out for a month due to injury, while a trio of outside backs in Jayden Campbell, Philip Sami and Jamayne Isaako have been named on the extended bench.

Key Match Up: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves vs Isaac Liu

Two Premiership-winning front row teammates become opponents for the first time on Saturday night when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves locks horns with former Rooster Isaac Liu.

The two veterans with over a decade's worth of NRL experience have eerily similar stats so far in 2022, separated by minuscule margins when it comes to their numerical outputs.

Waerea-Hargreaves, the Rooster's spiritual leader up front, has featured in all eight of the side's matches so far this season, averaging 108 metres (with 352.6 total post-contact) while averaging 23 tackles at an impressive 93.4% efficiency.

His opposite in Liu has continued on with the consistency he displayed in his nine seasons at Bondi, with the 31-year-old averaging 104 metres with 224.6 post-contact, 24 tackles at a 94.9% tackle efficiency in his seven matches in 2022.

While the Roosters and Titans both feature plenty of strike out wide, look to the battle in the middle between the veteran forwards to lay the platform for their more fancied teammates to lay on the points. 

What They Said

“I played a couple of junior games in Mackay, and I think I played my first ever Roosters game in a trial match up there against the Cowboys in 2017.

"Mackay is a wonderful spot and it’ll be great to get up there. We get a lot of support from the local community up there." - Lindsay Collins

Final Verdict

Two teams that are hell-bent on securing the two points come together head-on in Mackay - and taking the last couple of clashes into account, don't be surprised if this one continues the thrilling string of contests between the two clubs. 

Roosters Members and supporters will be able to attend our open training session on Friday as the side finalise their preparations - you can click here for further information.

If you haven't yet already, be sure to grab your tickets here, and cheer on the mighty Red, White and Blue on Saturday night!

 

Acknowledgement of Country

Sydney Roosters respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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