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With only three wins to their name in 2020, the Titans are struggling to stay in finals contention.

They threw their best punch at the Storm last week and were right in the contest just before half-time.

They were ultimately blown away 42-6 but first-year coach Justin Holbrook would've been encouraged by his team's first-half effort and will be demanding an 80-minute performance on Sunday.

The Panthers notched their eighth win of the season last week against the Cowboys and coach Ivan Cleary will be doing his best to keep complacency at bay against a team they're expected to beat comfortably.

The Rundown

Team news

Titans: Two late changes to the Gold Coast pack with reserves Nathan Peats and Sam Stone coming straight into the starting side for Erin Clark and Keegan Hipgrave who have been cut from the match-day squad completely. Dale Copley returns from injury, bumping Phillip Sami to wing and Treymain Spry out of the side. Captain Kevin Proctor is also back from a biceps injury as a straight swap in the back row for Beau Fermor.

Jai Whitbread is promoted to the bench with Sam Lisone and Treymain Spry dropping out of the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off. Jamal Fogarty has been named despite going off injured last week. Gold Coast have won only one of their past 11 games at Cbus Super Stadium.

Panthers: A late forwards reshuffle with Tyrone May coming off the bench into lock, Isaah Yeo moving into the second row and Billy Burns to the bench.  Daine Laurie and LIndsay Smith were the match-day cuts for Penrith. Burns had originally been slated to replace Viliame Kikau, who is out with a calf injury, in the second row. Pat Hollis was the other player omitted from the reduced 19-man squad on Saturday.

Caleb Aekins returns to fullback for Dylan Edwards (hamstring) while Brent Naden moves to centre for Dean Whare (thigh) with Malakai Watene-Zelezniak called up on the wing. Api Koroisau (elbow) is also injured with Mitch Kenny in at hooker. 

The Panthers have won five of their past six games against the Titans.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Titans is number 1 Corey Thompson
    Fullback for Panthers is number 1 Caleb Aekins
  • Winger for Titans is number 2 Anthony Don
    Winger for Panthers is number 2 Josh Mansour
  • Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
    Centre for Panthers is number 3 Brent Naden
  • Centre for Titans is number 4 Dale Copley
    Centre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
  • Winger for Titans is number 5 Phillip Sami
    Winger for Panthers is number 5 Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
  • Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley Taylor
    Five-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
  • Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty
    Halfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary

Forwards

  • Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki Fotuaika
    Prop for Panthers is number 8 James Tamou
  • Hooker for Titans is number 19 Nathan Peats
    Hooker for Panthers is number 9 Mitch Kenny
  • Prop for Titans is number 10 Jaimin Jolliffe
    Prop for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
  • 2nd Row for Titans is number 18 Sam Stone
    2nd Row for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
  • Lock for Titans is number 13 Jai Arrow
    Lock for Panthers is number 14 Tyrone May

Interchange

  • Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tanah Boyd
    Interchange for Panthers is number 15 Spencer Leniu
  • Interchange for Titans is number 16 Tyrone Peachey
    Interchange for Panthers is number 16 Moses Leota
  • Interchange for Titans is number 17 Jarrod Wallace
    Interchange for Panthers is number 17 Billy Burns
  • Interchange for Titans is number 21 Jai Whitbread
    Interchange for Panthers is number 18 Matt Burton

Key match-up

Erin Clark/Tanah Boyd v Api Koroisau: Holbrook used Clark at hooker for 45 minutes last week and Boyd filled the role for the final 35 minutes. Both will have to be bring their absolute best against one of the NRL's most dangerous players. Koroisau is being touted as a State of Origin rep in 2020.

He is a master of dummy-half play and he's the main reason why the Panthers are firmly on course for a top-four finish.

Stat Attack

The Panthers only have to reflect on last year's round five duel with the Titans if they need a reminder of what happens when you underestimate your opponent. The Titans claimed a 30-24 victory as Michael Gordon scored a try and kicked five from five. Penrith exacted revenge on home soil in round 17, with Brian To'o and Dylan Edwards bagging two tries apiece in a 24-2 triumph.