Gold Coast Titans vs Penrith Panthers NRL preview: Can the Panthers keep up top-spot chase

The Gold Coast Titans host the Penrith Panthers at 07:05BST on Sunday morning in Round 11 of the NRL at the Cbus Super Stadium.

The Titans have only won three games in this season so far and find themselves slipping out of contention for a spot in the finals, currently sitting in fourteenth place in the NRL ladder.

Penrith picked up their eighth win of the season last weekend against the Queensland Cowboys and are one point off of the top spot with a game in hand on both the Melbourne Storm and Parramatta Eels.

Team news

Gold Coast Titans

Dale Copley will return from an injury, pushing Phillip Sami to wing and Treymain Spry out of the team. Kevin Proctor is also back from a bicep injury and will come into the back row in place of Beau Fermor.

Jai Whitbread sees himself promoted to the bench with Sam Lisone and Treymain Spry dropping out of the extended squad. Jamal Fogarty has also been named in the squad despite going off injured last week.

Penrith Panthers

Viliame Kikau has pulled out of the side due to a calf injury, with Billy Burns starting in the second row. Pat Hollis has also been omitted from the reduced squad.

Caleb Aekins returns as fullback in place of Dylan Edwards while Brent Naden moves to centre for Dean Whare with Malakai Watene-Zelezniak called up on the wing. Api Koroisau is also injured and replaced by Mitch Kenny at hooker.


Gold Coast Titans

Starting 13: Thompson, Don, Kelly, Copley, Sami, Taylor, Fogarty, Fotuaika, Clark, Joliffe, Proctor, Hipgrave, Arrow

Interchange: Boyd, Peachey, Wallace, Whitbread

Reserves: Stone, Peats

Penrith Panthers

Starting 13: Aekins, Mansour, Naden, Crichton, Watene-Zelezniak, Luai, Cleary, Tamou, Kenny, Fisher-Harris, Martin, Burns,  Yeo

Interchange: May, Leniu, Leota, Burton

Reserves: Laurie, Smith

Ones to watch

Gold Coast Titans - Anthony Don

'The Don' could be one of the Titans' main threats going forwards, an advantage for the hosts in the air.

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Anthony Don is a good option when it comes to cross field kicks for the titans. The key for the side will be for them to aim it far enough out wide to not attract Stephen Crichton or Brent Naden, who are both extremely capable of shutting down aerial raids.

Penrith Panthers - Stephen Crichton

Crichton has already impressed in his first full season of first-grade football, and he could stand out on Sunday.

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The Gold Coast have poor defence on their edges and Penrith's left-side has already proven to be a handful for even the best sides in the NRL this year.

If the Titans give Crichton enough space or time he will be able to take advantage of the hosts.