Plenty on the line for local derby

Corey Thompson in action. Photo: www.titans.com.au

The Queensland Derby will have more on the line this week as both the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos search for their first win of the season.

There is more than just two points on the line for both teams as they aim to avoid starting the year with two losses.

The Titans were disappointing considering the hype surrounding them heading into the season, managing only one try in the 73rd minute when the game was over. It was their last tackle options that let them down as a spirited Warriors got off to a flyer.

The Broncos, however, showed promise under new coach Kevin Walters, completely outplaying the Eels in their first half only to be run over in the second half as injuries and fatigue took their toll.

The Titans lacked cohesion early in the game as they failed to get the ball into the hands of star recruit David Fifita, with his first carry coming in the 11th minute.

Despite his quite start, Fifita finished with 13 carries for 117 metres and 25 tackles, while other big-name recruit Tino Fa’asuamaleaui also starred with 17 carries for 149 metres and 32 tackles.

Early on the Broncos looked nothing like the team that won last year’s wooden spoon.

Xavier Coates crossed the line twice while Anthony Milford rediscovered his form from a few years ago with his move to five-eighth.

Milford (9 carries for 107 metres, 2 try assists) along with forward pair Patrick Carrigan (19 carries for 171 metres, 47 tackles) and Thomas Felger (14 carries for 144 metres, 30 tackles) were instrumental in the Broncos first half domination.

However, injuries to Coates, John Asiata and Matt Lodge halted all moment as the Eels ran over the top.

Coates and Asiata have been cleared to play this week while Lodge will miss two to three weeks with a hamstring injury and has been replaced on the field by Felger while Rhys Kennedy will fill out the remaining bench spot.

The Titans have called up Phillip Sami for the important clash, to replace centre Brian Kelly who suffered a fractured hand last week.

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