Two teams with opening round defeats will be desperate to get the points here in the first game of Super Saturday.
Newcastle were brave in defeat when falling 26-22 to the Warriors in New Zealand while the Titans were simply blown off the park by the Roosters early and never recovered, eventually falling 32-18 at home.
HOW IMPROVED ARE THEY?
There is no doubt that what NEWCASTLE produced last week was a big improvement on what they showed for most of 2016.
While improvement is great have they improved sufficiently to test the Titans here?
Newcastle are currently riding a 19-game losing streak which dates back to early last season. Their last win was back in Round 6 against the Tigers at this very ground.
KEY INGREDIENTS MISSING
The GOLD COAST themselves are riding an unwanted four-game losing streak with their last win, coincidentally enough, being against Newcastle back in Round 24 last season.
Despite playing at home last week they couldn’t handle the relentless onslaught early from the Roosters and before they knew it the game was gone.
They are also missing some key players to start the season with Agnatius Paasi and Nathan Peats not available yet while high-profile recruit Kevin Proctor came out of last week’s game worse for wear but has been named by coach Neil Henry.
On top of that they’ve had the unwanted media attention surrounding Jarryd Hayne plaguing the team this week which is just another thing to worry about.
As mentioned earlier the Titans won their previous encounter late last season. The 26-6 scoreline was the biggest win the Titans have had over the Knights in the club’s history.
Prior to that Newcastle had won six of the previous eight against the Gold Coast.
At McDonald Jones Stadium there is a strange pattern that has emerged since 2010 with a sequence of a Win followed by a Loss for each team. If this is to continue then it’s the Knight’s turn to take the two points. A hometown win is paying $2.60 with Unibet.
This one shapes as match that could go down to the wire.
Newcastle have won three of their past four first matches of the season at home so that definitely gives their fans some hope here. Giving them something else to hang their hats on is their 22 points last week was the fourth time they have scored 20 or more in the past 27 games.
Gold Coast simply need to begin far better than they did last week.
We don’t expect the Knights to blow them away early but their gritty determination against New Zealand last week suggested that Nathan Brown’s troops won’t take long to better their record of last year.
The way we see this game is that it’s one that you can afford to have a shot at the stumps and go on your gut instinct and if that is the case then we can see an upset occurring.
MATCH WINNER TIP: NEWCASTLE
FIRST TRYSCORER: DANE GAGAI
MARGIN BETTING: NEWCASTLE 1-12
Other tip: GAME TO GO TO GOLDEN POINT