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Titans call on reserves for Panthers game

Gold Coast will call on the cavalry for Sunday's NRL clash against Penrith after three weeks with an unchanged line-up.
Titans call on reserves for Panthers game
by AAP

By Ed Jackson

GOLD COAST, Qld, March 28 AAP - Gold Coast will call on the cavalry for Sunday's NRL clash against Penrith after three weeks with an unchanged line-up.

The Titans confirmed on Thursday lock Ashley Harrison will miss the trip to Centrebet Stadium, with the State of Origin representative not recovering from concussion suffered in last week's two-point win over Manly.

Recruit Brad Takairangi also appears set to be ruled out, failing to train with the team on Thursday as he battles a hamstring injury.

Harrison's omission means utility Luke O'Dwyer will come into the matchday squad, although it's unclear whether he'll be a straight swap for Harrison or start from the bench.

If Takairangi joins the Queensland representative on the sidelines, Steve Michaels will come into the centres.

There's also a doubt over veteran forward Luke Bailey, who has a niggling calf injury, but the 33-year-old will be given until Saturday afternoon to prove his fitness with Mark Minichiello his likely replacement if he's ruled out.

It means the Titans will be testing their depth for the first time this season, but O'Dwyer said he's confident the team can overcome the absences.

"It's unheard of really, having the same 17 for the last three weeks," O'Dwyer said.

"It's good. We're getting consistent with the team and we don't want to change too much. Hopefully I can just step in ... work my game around what Ash does and do my best with it."

Harrison was stretchered from the field during the two-point win over the Sea Eagles after being knocked out following a late shoulder from Manly's Richie Fa'aoso.

The Sea Eagles forward successfully downgraded his grade three dangerous contact charge at the judiciary on Wednesday night and will now miss just one game.

The decision is believed to have angered members of the Titans squad but players weren't revealing much to reporters.

"It was unfortunate what happened to Harro but that's the way football is sometimes," Titans fullback Will Zillman said.

"It's (the judiciary) probably a quite confusing process ... I'm sure they do there best every time to make the right decision."

Harrison is expected to be fit to play Queensland rivals Brisbane in next week's fixture.




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