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Gold Coast v Brisbane in round 5

Preview of League Round 10 matches
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by AAP

By Russell Jackson and Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, May 16 AAP - Preview of League Round 10 matches (all times AEST):

FRIDAY, May 17

Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium 7.35pm

Head to Head: Broncos 10 Titans 4

Last clash: Round 5 2013 - Broncos 32 bt Titans 12 at Skilled Park

Tab Sportsbet: Broncos $1.55 Titans $2.45 Draw $23.00

FootyTAB: Titans +4.5

Friday night regulars Brisbane will be out to avoid a third consecutive defeat when they meet Gold Coast. The Broncos are clinging to a top-eight spot while the sixth-placed Titans will be buoyed after a 15-14 win over St George Illawarra. Brisbane's Ben Hunt will start at five-eighth for the injured Scott Prince with Josh McGuire in for representative prop Ben Hannant. The Titans have an unchanged starting side. This promises to be a grinding contest that will be won up the middle. The Broncos also suffered a huge blow on the eve of the match with Justin Hodges ruled out with injury.

Key: Can the Broncos cope without injured stars Ben Hannant and Justin Hodges?

Tip: Titans

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium 7.35pm

Head to Head: Souths 11 Tigers 9

Last clash: Round 21 2012 - Souths 32 bt Tigers 6 at ANZ Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Souths $1.08 Tigers $8.00 Draw $41.00

FootyTAB: Tigers +20.5

Wests Tigers' fans will be hoping this one doesn't get too ugly on the scoreboard with South Sydney capable of giving the joint venture a hiding. Tigers coach Mick Potter dumped star five-eighth Benji Marshall to the bench as they look to avoid a seventh consecutive loss. The Tigers have to play the game of their lives to stop Souths. Marshall and back-rower Adam Blair must step up and take it to the Rabbitohs or else they will get slaughtered.

Key: The Tigers need stars Robbie Farah and Benji Marshall to ask some questions of Souths' defence and recapture their attacking mojo.

Tip: Souths

SATURDAY, May 18

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Parramatta Eels at WIN Stadium 5.30pm

Head to Head: Dragons 13 Eels 11 drawn 2

Last clash: Round 26 2012 - Dragons 29 bt Eels 8 at ANZ Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Dragons $1.47 Eels $2.45 Draw $26.00

FootyTAB: Eels +6.5

All eyes will be on Josh Dugan with the NSW representative making his debut for the Dragons. It's a fair sign of Steve Price's desperation that the former Canberra bad boy is thrown in having not played since round one - but they clearly need him after three successive losses. The Eels have won just one of the last 10 meetings between the sides, but talismanic captain Jarryd Hayne is in his best form since 2009 - the last time the Eels beat the Dragons.

Key: Drinking, fighting and tweeting ended Dugan's Raiders career, but there's no doubting his ability. The Eels will need to shut him down.

Tip: Dragons

Penrith Panthers v Warriors at Centrebet Stadium 7.30pm

Head to Head: Panthers 15 Warriors 14 drawn 1

Last clash: Round 24 2012 - Panthers 18 bt Warriors 16 at Mt Smart Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Panthers $1.70 Warriors $2.20 Draw $23.00

FootyTAB: Warriors +2.5

Penrith pulled off the shock of the season by beating premiers Melbourne last week and have a real chance to go back-to-back against a Warriors side battling confidence issues. The return of former Panthers mentor Matt Elliott in the opposing coaching box adds some extra spice and he would love nothing better than to put one over the club that sent him packing midway through the 2011 season.

Key: Travis Robinson and Matt Moylan have been superb since moving up to first grade for the Panthers and will be a constant threat for the Warriors.

Tip: Panthers

North Queensland Cowboys v Sydney Roosters at 1300SMILES Stadium 7.30pm

Head to Head: Cowboys 8 Roosters 20

Last clash: Round 7 2012 - Cowboys 50 bt Roosters 12 at TIO Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Cowboys $2.10 Roosters $1.75 Draw $23.00

FootyTAB: Cowboys +1.5

The Sydney Roosters face a stern test in Townsville without suspended forward leader Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. But they still have plenty of class with the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, James Maloney and Michael Jennings to get them past a mis-firing Cowboys side. The Cowboys will be relying on international props James Tamou and Matt Scott to create a platform for Johnathan Thurston to weave his magic. The Tricolours have the wood on the Cowboys overall but North Queensland have won five of their past six clashes.

Key: The Cowboys defence must work hard to prevent the Roosters going to their lethal edge runners Michael Jennings and Sonny Bill Williams.

Tip: Roosters

SUNDAY, May 19

Cronulla Sharks v Canberra at Sharks Stadium 2.00pm

Head to Head: Sharks 31 Raiders 28

Last clash: Finals Week 1 2012 - Raiders 34 bt Sharks 16 at Canberra Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Sharks $1.70 Raiders $2.20 Draw $23.00

FootyTAB: Raiders +3.5

Both teams come into this in good form and chasing three straight wins. The Raiders have beaten Melbourne and Newcastle on the back of an exciting backline led by centre Blake Ferguson. Cronulla looked strong last week in dispatching the lowly Tigers and have been getting home on the back of a hardworking pack. The Sharks have beaten Canberra in 19 of 27 games at Cronulla and go into this match as favourites. The Sharks coped without captain Paul Gallen last week due to injury but face a much bigger task without him against the Raiders.

Key: The Raiders must remain committed to their attacking style and not be overawed by a hostile crowd at Sharks Stadium.

Tip: Raiders

Newcastle Knights v Canterbury at Hunter Stadium 3.00pm

Head to Head: Knights 17 Bulldogs 19 drawn 1

Last clash: Round 22 2012 - Bulldogs 26 bt Knights 10 at Hunter Stadium

Tab Sportsbet: Knights $2.45 Bulldogs $1.57 Draw $26.00

FootyTAB: Knights +4.5

The Knights were simply awful last Sunday against Canberra - surrendering a 14-0 lead and meekly shipping 44 unanswered points to a Blake Ferguson-inspired Raiders side. Canterbury are on the rise after a poor start to the season and Ben Barba is beginning to hit his straps. Wayne Bennett's expensively-assembled side need to start performing before questions start to be asked.

Key: Kade Snowden was once a NSW prop, but is now a long way from Blues contention. He'll need to shine if the Knights have any way of keeping the giant Bulldogs pack in check.

Tip: Bulldogs

MONDAY, May 20

Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles at AAMI Park 7.00pm

Head to Head: Storm 13 Sea Eagles 10

Last clash: Preliminary Final 2012 - Storm 40 bt Sea Eagles 12 at AAMI Park

Tab Sportsbet: Storm $1.40 Sea Eagles $3.00 Draw $26.00

FootyTAB: Sea Eagles +6.5

Melbourne were on the wrong end of one of Craig Bellamy's infamous sprays last week after going down to lowly Penrith. The Storm have lost their last two and looked tired against the Panthers after racking up the air miles in the first two months of the season. Manly also struggled against the Sydney Roosters last week and looked lost in attack without the injured Brett Stewart.

Key: Part of the Storm's greatness is their ability to get themselves out of a rut - they will need their big-three to be in top form to win this one.

Tip: Storm




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