It's an understatement to say it's a massive week for both these teams.

The Warriors started the season with a bang and have been pretty awful since, losing their past two games by a collective 80 points.

If they can't beat the Titans at home, Warriors fans might start calling for Stephen Kearney's head.

But at least the Warriors have won.

The Titans are the only team without a victory, though they gave the Rabbitohs a bit of a shake in the second half last week and need to carry that form into Friday's clash.

Match: Warriors v Titans

Round 4 -

Full Time
Warriors

Home Team

Warriors

Scored 26 points
Titans

Away Team

Titans

Scored 10 points

Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS

The Rundown

Team news

Warriors: In a late change an hour before kick-off, Lachlan Burr will start the match at lock, with Adam Blair back to the bench. Gerard Beale and Leviaha Pulu were the two players left out an hour before kick-off. Chanel Harris-Tavita will make his NRL debut in the halves alongside Blake Green. Youngster Adam Keighran was dropped to the reserves list on Tuesday and then omitted altogether on Thursday along with Blake Ayshford. The Warriors have won 14 of their past 16 games against the Titans. 

Titans: The Titans will start 1-17, with Max King and Phillip Sami the last two players omitted. Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts came through the side's final training session on Thursday and will make their return from injury. Ryley Jacks and Jai Whitbread were omitted 24 hours before kick-off. Titans centre Tyrone Peachey has scored eight tries in eight games against the Warriors.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Warriors is number 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Michael Gordon
  • Winger for Warriors is number 2 David Fusitu'a
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Anthony Don
  • Centre for Warriors is number 3 Peta Hiku
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Tyrone Peachey
  • Centre for Warriors is number 4 Solomone Kata
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Brian Kelly
  • Winger for Warriors is number 5 Ken Maumalo
    Winger for Titans is number 5 Dale Copley
  • Five-Eighth for Warriors is number 6 Chanel Harris-Tavita
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Tyrone Roberts
  • Halfback for Warriors is number 7 Blake Green
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Ashley Taylor

Forwards

  • Prop for Warriors is number 8 Agnatius Paasi
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Warriors is number 9 Karl Lawton
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Warriors is number 10 Leeson Ah Mau
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Ryan James
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 11 Isaiah Papali'i
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
  • 2nd Row for Warriors is number 12 Tohu Harris
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Bryce Cartwright
  • Lock for Warriors is number 16 Lachlan Burr
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Jai Arrow

Interchange

  • Interchange for Warriors is number 13 Adam Blair
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Alexander Brimson
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 14 Jazz Tevaga
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 15 Bunty Afoa
    Interchange for Titans is number 16 Shannon Boyd
  • Interchange for Warriors is number 17 Ligi Sao
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Keegan Hipgrave

Key match-up

Both teams need their respective centre pairings to raise the bar. Kearney is banking on more from Peta Hiku and Solomone Kata, while Garth Brennan wants to see Tyrone Peachey and Brian Kelly click or changes are on the cards.

For the Warriors to win

Maybe they were emotionally drained and that's understandable with everything they've been dealing with since the Christchurch shooting, but the Warriors need to hit the tackle pads this week and get some hunger and pride in their defence.

For the Titans to win

Brennan needs to build on the positives that came out of the loss to Souths. Prompt line speed is essential defensively, while the Titans have to get the ball wide more often to Anthony Don, who became the club's most prolific try-scorer last week.

Brett Kimmorley says

Both teams have been pretty poor to start the season. I want to see the Warriors forward pack be a lot tougher when the game is on the line. The Titans are scoring tries off kicks but the attack has been very poor. Garth Brennan needs to get some second phase football going and get Mitch Rein into the game. Warriors by 2

Warriors Stat Attack

Skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is second in the NRL in run metres (606) behind Blake Ferguson (640) and is also second in kick return metres (212) behind Michael Gordon (245). Jazz Tevaga has a league-high seven handling errors.

Titans Stat Attack

As mentioned Gordon leads the NRL in kick return metres (245) and is also tops in support play (65). Jai Arrow is fourth in post contact metres (178).

And another thing ...

Garth Brennan must've walked under a ladder or two with all the bad luck the Titans have had on the injury front. The off-season arrival of Tyrone Peachey and Shannon Boyd had some pundits thinking top eight for the Titans, but those predictions look bleak with first-choice halves Ash Taylor (quad) and Tyrone Roberts (achilles) not expected to return any time soon. Hooker Nathan Peats (pec) joined the pair on the sideline last week, but Brennan knows club directors just want to see wins and is under pressure to deliver.