Gold Coast Titans v St George Illawarra Dragons Sunday, March 25, 4:10pm (AEDT) Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba
The Titans will welcome back some big names when they host the Dragons in Toowoomba. Halfback Ash Taylor returns after missing the Warriors match with a hamstring injury, while Jarrod Wallace returns from his two-match suspension. The Dragons have been extremely impressive to start the season and this looms as a massive danger game for the Red V.
FormThe Titans pulled off a miracle comeback in their season opener to run over Canberra 30-28 before losing 20-8 against the Warriors when a little unlucky with injury and officiating. The Titans are 1-1 ATS with a 1-1 over-under record. The Dragons have won both their clashes with a dominant win over Brisbane before a come-from-behind road win at Cronulla. The Saints are 2-0 ATS with a 1-1 over-under number.
Key MatchupAsh Taylor v Ben Hunt: Ash Taylor was sorely missed in last week’s loss to the Warriors and will be doing his best to take his spot against the Dragons in Toowoomba. Taylor was born in Toowoomba and will be keen for a big performance in front of his family and friends if he can overcome a hamstring injury. Both Taylor and Ben Hunt are products of the Brisbane Broncos system and would love to get one over each other here. Hunt has made a strong start to his Dragons career, with a try and two try-assists in his first two matches, and his partnership with Gareth Widdop is going from strength-to-strength.
Stats That Matter– St George Illawarra have won 12 of the 19 all-time meetings against the Titans though the Gold Coast have won three of the last five meetings. – This is the first NRL match played in Toowoomba so there is no venue history here. – Four of the last six matches have topped 40 points. – Since 2008 home underdogs of 4 or more in the first four rounds of the season are 41-13 ATS – the best angle in Rugby League – though somewhat tempered by the match being played in Toowoomba. – The Dragons are 14-4 under interstate since 2015 with an 11-7 ATS record. – The Saints have covered just 7 of their last 17 as a favourite of 4.5 or more. – The Dragons have covered just 3 of their last 10 day games.
Final ThoughtsThe Wolf can smell an upset in this one, but Ash Taylor must take his spot in the Titans side for that to happen. The Titans have a very underrated forward pack and will only be strengthened by the return of Jarrod Wallace, who was one of their best last season. The Titans with +5.5 start looks a great bet in what should be a close affair.
How It’s Shaping UpGold Coast by 2
Recommended BetsBest: Gold Coast +5.5 ($1.91) Value: Gold Coast +5.5 & Over 43.5 ($3.80) First Tryscorer: Anthony Don ($11)