The Titans trying to stop competition leaders Storm from winning a record 19th straight game appears a forlorn task but let's not underestimate the power of wanting to play finals football again after five years in the wilderness.
The Titans were gathering good momentum with three straight wins before a Rabbitohs walloping 36-6 last weekend. The valuable lessons learned from that can be applied this week, when Gold Coast face their second top-four side in succession.
For Melbourne, there won't be any complacency. They not only have the Roosters' 1975 record of 19 wins in a row to shoot for, they have a fifth minor premiership in the offing, and they have intense pride in that purple jersey.
And they will remember there was only a converted try in it (20-14) the last time these two met in round 13.
Match: Titans v Storm
Round 23 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Titans: The Titans are 1-17 with no late changes.
David Fifita has been named to start again but may revert to the bench as he has in recent weeks.
AJ Brimson underwent surgery for a fractured jaw on Tuesday and is unlikely to play again this year in a blow for the side's finals chances.
Sam McIntyre returns to the side at lock with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui moving to the front row in place of Moeaki Fotuaika (knee).
Mitch Rein and Herman Ese'ese were the first two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Esan Marsters was the last man cut an hour before kick-off and Phillip Sami is 18th man.
Fifita has scored 12 tries in nine games at Cbus Super Stadium in 2021.
Storm: In a late change an hour before kick-off Aaron Pene joins the bench in jersey No.20 and Aaron Booth drops to 18th man.
Jahrome Hughes (concussion) is replaced by Nicho Hynes in the halves which allows Ryan Papenhuyzen to return to fullback.
George Jennings (knee) is good to go and replaces Dean Ieremia on the wing.
Brandon Smith and Justin Olam have been rested for this week.
Jordan Grant and Trent Loiero were cut from the squad on Wednesday and Isaac Lulelume was the last man cut an hour before kick-off.
The Storm have won 10 of their past 11 games against the Titans.
Match: Titans v Storm
Round 23 -
Fullback for Titans is number 1 Jayden CampbellFullback for Storm is number 1 Ryan Papenhuyzen
Winger for Titans is number 2 Greg MarzhewWinger for Storm is number 2 George Jennings
Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian KellyCentre for Storm is number 3 Reimis Smith
Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick HerbertCentre for Storm is number 4 Marion Seve
Winger for Titans is number 5 Corey ThompsonWinger for Storm is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Ashley TaylorFive-Eighth for Storm is number 6 Cameron Munster
Halfback for Titans is number 7 Jamal FogartyHalfback for Storm is number 7 Nicholas Hynes
Prop for Titans is number 8 Jarrod WallaceProp for Storm is number 8 Jesse Bromwich
Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin ClarkHooker for Storm is number 9 Harry Grant
Prop for Titans is number 10 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiProp for Storm is number 10 Christian Welch
2nd Row for Titans is number 11 Kevin Proctor2nd Row for Storm is number 11 Felise Kaufusi
2nd Row for Titans is number 12 David Fifita2nd Row for Storm is number 12 Kenneath Bromwich
Lock for Titans is number 13 Sam McIntyreLock for Storm is number 13 Chris Lewis
Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tyrone PeacheyInterchange for Storm is number 15 Tom Eisenhuth
Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam LisoneInterchange for Storm is number 16 Tepai Moeroa
Interchange for Titans is number 16 Jaimin JolliffeInterchange for Storm is number 17 Cooper Johns
Interchange for Titans is number 17 Beau FermorInterchange for Storm is number 20 Aaron Pene
Reserve for Titans is number 18 Phillip SamiReserve for Storm is number 18 Aaron Booth
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Wyatt Raymond
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui v Kenny Bromwich: Big Tino won a premiership with the Storm 12 months ago but didn't get to face his former club in round 13 as he was on Queensland Origin duty. He makes an average 14 hit-ups, 140 metres and two tackle-busts a game and will probably improve on those stats taking on his Storm mates. Bromwich will work in tandem with his brother Jesse and also Felise Kaufusi to try and limit Tino's impact and again lay a platform for the Storm's red hot backline to go to work.
Nicho Hynes is the Storm player you want to run alongside if you're keen to try to score some points. He now sits third in the NRL for line-break assists (26) behind Cody Walker and Tom Trbojevic.
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