3.00pm (AEST), Saturday, April 18
Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
The Gold Coast Titans have put their pre-season dramas behind them to strike a rich vein of form in recent weeks, while the highly-fancied Penrith Panthers are at risk of having their premiership bid derailed by a horror injury run.
Beau Falloon returns from suspension at hooker, with Kierran Moseley dropping back to the Titans’ bench as Eddy Pettybourne sits out a one-week ban. Robert Jennings will debut in the centres alongside fellow rookie Waqa Blake with Jamal Idris ruled out for the season and Dean Whare still in a casualty ward that includes Jamie Soward, Peter Wallace, Lewis Brown and Bryce Cartwright.
Penrith have crafted an 8-4 record against Gold Coast, including wins in the last four encounters. The Panthers have won three of their five matches at Robina, while they racked up a 40-0 scoreline in the clubs’ Round 2 showdown in Bathurst. The Panthers prevailed 36-12 at Cbus Super Stadium in Round 13 last year. Titans young guns James Roberts and Kierran Moseley arrived at the club from Penrith.
The Titans have won two of their last three, pipping Cronulla and thrashing Parramatta either side of an honourable loss to Brisbane. The 38-16 drubbing of the Eels, with strike centre James Roberts bagging a hat-trick, was the club’s biggest in almost two years. The Panthers snapped a three-match losing streak by overcoming Manly 22-12 in a rugged clash at home, but came out of the game with even more injury worries.
James Segeyaro has been Penrith’s best this year and takes on far greater responsibility – in attack and in a leadership capacity – with both first-choice halves out. Beau Falloon’s return is a big plus for Gold Coast, and his rotation with Segeyaro’s former understudy, Moseley, will be central to the Titans’ hopes on Saturday.
Stats That Matter
The Titans are 10-17 at home since the start of 2013 (13-14 against the line), including just one win in their last 12 home games – but they have covered in four of their last five as hosts. The Titans are 6-8 (4-10 ATS) as home favourite over the last three seasons. The Panthers are 12-15 away since 2013 (14-13 against the start), including 7-14 (10-11 ATS) as outsiders, but they are 4-3 (5-2 ATS) interstate. Eight of the clubs’ 12 encounters have produced 46 points or more, while 10 have been decided by 13+ margins.
While the likes of Segeyaro, Matt Moylan and Josh Mansour give the Panthers plenty of game-breaking class, their inexperience in the halves and centres is a major draw-back. The Titans have shown plenty of grit and character under difficult circumstances all season – now they are backing it up with confidence and combinations. The new halves pairing of Aidan Sezer and Kane Elgey is coming along, while Roberts is one of the competition’s finest attacking weapons. The Titans can make it two in a row for the first time since Round 6 last season, but it should be a tight one.
How It’s Shaping Up
Gold Coast by 7
Gold Coast to win ($1.87)
Other Recommended Bets
Over 40.5 ($1.90)
2015 NRL Round 7 Betting Preview for Gold Coast vs Penrith thanks to William Hill Australia.
Gold Coast vs Penrith Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 7 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.