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Josh Hoffman moved to the halves as the Titans prevailed over the Bulldogs.

Having banged away for 267 minutes for a return of a solitary try in the past month the Titans know that scoring first against the Eels on Monday night is vital to restoring some long-lost confidence in their attack.

Nene Macdonald's try against the Roosters early in the second half of their game in Round 16 and his last-minute effort against the Sea Eagles in Round 18 are the only two tries the Titans have scored since the 15th minute of that Roosters clash at Gosford.

It's a similarly lean tale for their opponents who have scored a lone try in each of their past two losses to the Bulldogs and Cowboys as they endeavour to find a way to score points without Corey Norman and Chris Sandow in the side.

The Titans scored first in Round 6 when they put 38 points on Parramatta in Sydney – their highest tally of the season to date – and fullback Josh Hoffman said posting first points was the way to break free of the shackles of the past month.

"It is important to get some points on the scoreboard early. It gives you a bit of a fresh mind and you can get into the game with a better mindset," Hoffman said. "It is very important to get off to a good start, completing our sets and hopefully get a win.

"It's just the change of momentum. Once you get that momentum then off the back of it you start to feed off that.

"The forwards start to feel a bit of energy as well when they feel that momentum change and the outside backs have a bit of room as well.

"Once we get off to a good start, complete our sets and get that momentum, everybody feeds off that."


The Titans and Eels have both scored a total of 13 tries in the first 20 minutes of their 18 games to date and more often than not are on the wrong side of the scoreboard after a quarter of the game has passed.

Halves Aidan Sezer and Kane Elgey will be hoping to get through 80 minutes together for the first time since Round 12 but Henry conceded that first four-pointer will be crucial to deciding the outcome of the game.

"I think we need it," Henry said of striking first. "There's no doubt we're down on confidence and we haven't scored points for three weeks really whereas in the first half of the season we were right up there in terms of tries scored and points scored.

"We've fallen into a bit of a hole there but I think Aidan Sezer will be better for that run and hopefully Kane Elgey bounces back after that knock and we're able to put some points on."

The Titans have a wonderful record of posting big totals against the Eels in their short history against each other and winger David Mead says past success can be a confidence boost in itself.

"Having 'Elg' and 'Seze' back there for a second week will have a huge contribution to us scoring some points," Mead said.

"They've been back working really hard the last two weeks so I'm sure we'll get some points on Monday night.

"Earlier this year we played pretty well and started the game off strong and scored a fair few points in the second half so I can't give one reason why we've played well against them.

"They're one of those sides the Eels who are either rocks or diamonds. If you get them on a good night they can really make you look silly so we've got to be on our game and make sure we shut down their threats."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours 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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