You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content

The pressure of favouritism is not something the Titans have had to deal with all that often in recent years.

But that's the scenario facing Justin Holbrook's side when the Bulldogs host them at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

The Titans are 13th on the ladder with four matches remaining, but a trio of teams (Dragons, Wests Tigers and Manly) are just one win ahead of them. If they were to finish 10th, the season would be deemed a success.

As for the Bulldogs, two wins from 16 matches says it all. One week they can't score enough points to win a match, the next they can't defend well enough to emerge victorious.

Avoiding the wooden spoon remains their goal over the next four weeks.

The rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: Luke Thompson and Jake Averillo (both rested last week) return on the bench in place of Sione Katoa and Dean Britt. Reserves duo Jack Cogger and Tim Lafai were cut from the squad 24 hours from kick-off and Sauaso Sue and Reimis Smith dropped out on game day.

The Bulldogs have won four of their past five games against the Titans.

Titans: Jai Arrow returns from a shoulder injury after being elevated from the reserves to the interchange while winger Anthony Don has recovered from a rib injury and starts in place of Phillip Sami.

Prop Moeaki Fotuaika will return from suspension on the bench while prop Sam Lisone will make his 100th NRL appearance after securing a not guilty verdict at the judiciary.

Keegan Hipgrave and Jai Whitbread were omitted from the squad on Friday and Tanah Boyd dropped out of the squad an hour before kick-off.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Will Hopoate
    Fullback for Titans is number 1 Alexander Brimson
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Nick Meaney
    Winger for Titans is number 2 Corey Thompson
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Marcelo Montoya
    Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian Kelly
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Kerrod Holland
    Centre for Titans is number 4 Young Tonumaipea
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Titans is number 20 Anthony Don
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran Foran
    Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley Taylor
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis
    Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal Fogarty

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Ofahiki Ogden
    Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod Wallace
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
    Hooker for Titans is number 9 Mitch Rein
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan Napa
    Prop for Titans is number 10 Jaimin Jolliffe
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
    2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Sam Stone
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
    2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Aiden Tolman
    Lock for Titans is number 13 Tyrone Peachey

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Jake Averillo
    Interchange for Titans is number 14 Erin Clark
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Renouf Atoni
    Interchange for Titans is number 15 Moeaki Fotuaika
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Matt Doorey
    Interchange for Titans is number 17 Sam Lisone
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Luke Thompson
    Interchange for Titans is number 19 Jai Arrow

Match Officials

  • Referee: Chris Sutton
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
  • Video Referee: Beau Scott
  • Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell

Last updated:

Key match-up

Will Hopoate v AJ Brimson: He had a night to forget against the Raiders, but Hopoate remains a rep-standard outside back. Brimson, on the other hand, hasn't needed much time since returning from injury to remind everyone of his talent. Both are potential match-winners.

Stat attack

Just four years ago these sides were part of the finals action - the Bulldogs finishing seventh and the Titans eighth in 2016.

Both were bundled out in the opening week of the play-offs and it has been lean pickings since then with the Dogs finishing 11th the following year and 12th in 2018 and 2019, while Gold Coast were wooden spooners in 2019 after finishing 14th in 2018 and 15th in 2017.