Penrith Panthers v Gold Coast Titans Saturday, April 15, 2pm (AEST) Panthers Stadium, Penrith
The Panthers find themselves in the Top 4 after five rounds and have proved they can get the job done while Nathan Cleary is on the sidelines. The Titans have won their last two matches and will fancy their chances of an upset at the foot of the Mountains. Titans utility, Bryce Cartwright returns to take on his former club, while Ryan James misses this match through suspension. Panthers centre Waqa Blake is out for an extended period, with Isaah Yeo shifting to the centres.
FormPenrith have surged to third on the ladder with a 4-1 record. The Panthers have the sixth best attack while they rank fifth in defence. The Panthers’ only loss this year was a two-point defeat to Canterbury in a game they lost Nathan Cleary. Gold Coast have put together back-to-back wins against Brisbane and Manly. The Titans are now sixth on the ladder despite having the worst defence in the NRL. The Titans have scored 26-plus in their three wins.
Key MatchupJames Fisher-Harris v Jai Arrow: The Wolf is really looking forward to the battle of the locks here. Fisher-Harris has already played in three different Panthers jerseys this season but looks to have found his home in the No.13 jersey. He has an extremely high work-rate, he can put on a big hit when it’s needed and he can offload at will. What about the breakout year of Jai Arrow! He produced a career-best match against the Sea Eagles last week which included two tries, eight tackle-breaks and six offloads. That’s not even mentioning his work-rate in both attack and defence. People are starting take notice of this youngster, especially SuperCoach players.
Stats That Matter– Penrith are 3-2 ATS with a 3-2 under record while Gold Coast are 3-2 ATS with a 3-2 over record. – The Panthers have won the last two and six of the last eight against the Gold Coast. – Four of the last five have tallied 40 or fewer. – The Panthers are 4-3 all-time against the Titans at Penrith Stadium. – The over is 15-7 when the Titans are an interstate underdog of 6.5 or more. – The Titans are 5-2 ATS as an interstate underdog of more than a converted try after scoring 30 points.
Final ThoughtsThe statistics might not favour the Titans, with the Panthers dominating the recent meetings, but The Wolf can smell an upset here. They’ve got an underrated pack, featuring the likes of Arrow, Kevin Proctor and Jarrod Wallace, while Ash Taylor is starting to find his rhythm and combination with the inconsistent Kane Elgey and new signing Michael Gordon. The Titans with the +7.5 start looks like a big start for a side on a two-match winning streak.
How It’s Shaping UpGold Coast by 2
Recommended BetsBest: Gold Coast +7.5 ($1.91) Value: Gold Coast ($3) First Tryscorer: Konrad Hurrell ($13)