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NRL Premiership - Round 02 - Melbourne Storm V Gold Coast Titans - 13 March 2016 - AAMI Park, Melbourne, Vic - Ian Knight

The surprise packets of 2016, Gold Coast has shown incredible spirit during the opening rounds.

Had luck fallen their way, their record would be a lot better than the 3-5 one they currently hold.

After starting the season by winning three of their first four, the Titans have since slumped to a four game losing streak however that is not an accurate reflection of their recent performances.
All four of those games have been decided by single-digit margins while three of their opponents currently sit in the competition’s top six.

Be at AAMI Park when we take on the Panthers on Saturday 4 June, 7:30pm.

We take a look at some key aspects of the Titans side that will prove cause for consideration for Melbourne.

Tougher Titans

Neil Henry’s men are playing with a big taste for the contest this season. A second half fade-out was the reason behind Storm’s 18-point win in Round 2 but that appears to be an aberration. The Titans biggest loss since then has been to the top-of-the-table Broncos by just eight points. Their willingness to stay in the contest has been a big reason why Gold Coast have turned heads this season and will likely continue to do so for the remainder of the year.

Bird with a point to prove

After missing out on Australian selection during the week Greg Bird will find himself up against at least five players who will feature in next Friday’s Test match. That leaves the experienced Titan with no shortage of motivation for Sunday’s game, making him an even tougher proposition than usual for Storm. Bird has four try assists so far this season and may take on an added creative role should Ash Taylor miss through injury.

Hot temperatures

The weather this Sunday is set to be a warm 29 degrees. It may seem like a simple thought but the warmer temperatures and added humidity up north is a further challenge for Storm. Especially this season, given the reduced interchange and the fact Melbourne play very few games during the middle of the afternoon. In fact this game will be just one of four mid-afternoon games Storm will play in the opening 20 rounds.

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.