How will the Titans players respond to Sunday's departure of coach Garth Brennan?

A match that was looking one-sided on paper now has a major wrinkle with the Gold Coast players to be listening to a different voice on the training paddock.

While their will be plenty of attention on how the Gold Coast players respond, the Storm are also facing a tricky situation.

If the Storm are ever going to have a let-down week, this is it.

The well-deserved hype that preceded - and followed - Cameron Smith's 400th NRL match may make it hard for Bellamy to get his team ready for the Titans.

How locked-in the Storm are in the first 20 minutes on Sunday will be crucial.

Match: Titans v Storm

Round 18 -

Full Time
Titans

Home Team

Titans

Scored 18 points
Storm

Away Team

Storm

Scored 38 points

Venue: Cbus Super Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Foxtel
  • LIVE PASS
  • KAYO

The Rundown

Team news

Titans: A host of changes to the side beaten by the Panthers as the post-Brennan era begins. On the plus side, veteran fullback Michael Gordon has been named on the bench for his first game since round nine. Anthony Don has been replaced on the wing by Dale Copley and Brenko Lee comes into the centres. Jarrod Wallace moves from lock to prop and Jai Whitbread is the new lock. Moeaki Fotuaika goes back to the bench. Leilani Latu and Sam Stone are the new faces on the bench. Shannon Boyd (arm) is out while Mitch Rein and Will Matthews were cut from the reserves on Saturday. Tanah Boyd and Don were omitted an hour before kick-off.

Storm: Craig Bellamy has decided the time is right to rest his Origin stars, barring lock Dale Finucane. His other Origin rep, Christian Welch, is suspended. Marion Seve starts at centre for Will Chambers, Sandor Earl comes in for Josh Addo-Carr, Joe Stimson was named to take Cameron Munster's place. Bellamy trimmed Max King and Isaac Lumelume from his squad on Saturday. Bellamy announced on Sunday that Ryan Papenhuyzen had been elevated to the starting side at five-eighth with Stimson switching to the second row and Tui Kamikamica reverting to the interchange.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
    Fullback for Storm is number 1 Jahrome Hughes
  • Winger for Titans is number 2 Dale Copley
    Winger for Storm is number 2 Suliasi Vunivalu
  • Centre for Titans is number 3 Brenko Lee
    Centre for Storm is number 3 Marion Seve
  • Centre for Titans is number 4 Brian Kelly
    Centre for Storm is number 4 Justin Olam
  • Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip Sami
    Winger for Storm is number 5 Sandor Earl
  • Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Tyrone Roberts
    Five-Eighth for Storm is number 17 Ryan Papenhuyzen
  • Halfback for Titans is number 7 Ryley Jacks
    Halfback for Storm is number 7 Brodie Croft

Forwards

  • Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
    Prop for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
  • Hooker for Titans is number 9 Nathan Peats
    Hooker for Storm is number 9 Cameron Smith
  • Prop for Titans is number 10 Jack Stockwell
    Prop for Storm is number 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
    2nd Row for Storm is number 6 Joe Stimson
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Bryce Cartwright
    2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
  • Lock for Titans is number 13 Jai Whitbread
    Lock for Storm is number 13 Dale Finucane

Interchange

  • Interchange for Titans is number 14 Michael Gordon
    Interchange for Storm is number 11 Tui Kamikamica
  • Interchange for Titans is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
    Interchange for Storm is number 14 Brandon Smith
  • Interchange for Titans is number 16 Leilani Latu
    Interchange for Storm is number 15 Tino Faasuamaleaui
  • Interchange for Titans is number 17 Sam Stone
    Interchange for Storm is number 16 Tom Eisenhuth

Key match-up

Tyrone Roberts faces one of the biggest challenges in the game when he lines up against Cameron Munster. They are different types of players but for the Titans to win, Roberts needs to find a way to control the match. As for Munster, he just needs to continue on with the stellar form he's shown in recent weeks.

For the Titans to win

Stay calm when you're in the opposition red-zone. Against the Panthers last week, the Titans made some elementary mistakes when points were beckoning. They've got players who can put points on, they just all need to get onto the same page. A couple of first-half tries against the Storm would provide some much-needed confidence.

For the Storm to win

Let Cameron Smith control the ruck and then have your middle forwards run the ball with gusto. The manner in which Nelson Asofa-Solomona (166 running metres), Jesse Bromwich (215m), Dale Finucane (102m), Christian Welch (131m) and Brandon Smith (95m) outmuscled and outworked the Sharks last weekend was decisive.

Brett Kimmorley says

After everything they’ve been through I expect the Titans to have a tough outing against the Storm, a team that gives you nothing. I’ve been a bit critical of Brodie Croft but last week was probably his best game this year. Cameron Smith runs the game for Melbourne so hopefully Croft can become a very good running half back. Storm by 14

Stat Attack

The Storm are averaging almost 26 points per game. If they maintain that until the end of the season, they'll be clear of the 22 points the Roosters averaged on their way to winning the 2018 minor premiership.

And another thing ...

Not that they'll be taking it easy, but the Storm already have enough points to make the finals. They only need another four wins to be sure of a top-four finish.