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Titans v Broncos: Gold Coast struck by injury; Brisbane to miss Croft

They may both be based in Queensland, but the Titans and Broncos are figuratively worlds apart right now.

While Brisbane's young forward pack have inspired a 2-0 start including a win over the Rabbitohs in round two, the Gold Coast have unfortunately picked up where they left off in 2019.

The Titans haven't won since round 19 last season when they coincidentally beat the Broncos.

The Rundown

Team news

Titans: The expected boost from the anticipated return of key players AJ Brimson and Shannon Boyd for round three has been overtaken by anxiety over the status of veteran back-rower Kevin Proctor, winger Dale Copley and Tyrone Roberts. Proctor suffered a hamstring strain in the warm-up before Gold Coast's round two clash with the Eels while Copley (ribs) and Roberts (ankle) were first-half casualties. The side is already battling without long-term absentees Keegan Hipgrave (concussion, indefinite) and Ryan James (knee, season).

Broncos: Scans revealed halfback Brodie Croft suffered an AC joint injury in Friday's 22-18 win over the Rabbitohs in Brisbane. He is likely to miss the tussle with the Titans but club officials don't expect him to be sidelined too long. Brisbane captain Alex Glenn is likely to make his long-awaited season debut after being sidelined with nagging hamstring damage.

Key match-up

Jai Arrow v Patrick Carrigan. The Titans star is the complete player, getting through a mountain of work in attack and defence for his team. Brisbane's new No.13 is cast from the same mould and has already shown in his brief Telstra Premiership career that he will be a cornerstone of their pack for years to come.

Brett Kimmorley says

We’ve seen nothing in the first two weeks to think the Titans’ defensive abilities have improved. They made some pretty soft choices at critical times when they needed to make some tougher decisions and stand up and defend their try-line. They made far too many errors coming off their own line and put themselves under a lot of pressure. They made it a little contest for a while and got blown away in the end. The Broncos have got some of the best individual players in the competition – some of their forwards are absolute freaks. Brodie Croft will be an interesting loss because the Croft-Turpin combination is the best combination for them as a team, but they’ll be too good for the Titans because the Titans don’t like defending, and it’s a pretty important part of the game. Broncos by 8

Stat Attack

Brisbane dominated Souths last Thursday night in almost every category but the most telling statistic was their 45 tackle breaks while conceding only 21. If the Titans have any hope of causing a boilover, they need to stop the Broncos' legs from pumping through tackles at a better rate than the Bunnies.

And another thing...

The Gold Coast have been very much the little brother in this rivalry for some time but they prevailed in the first clash between these sides last year (26-18 at Suncorp Stadium), and the year before (26-14 at Suncorp).

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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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