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NRL: Titans axe Holbrook ahead of Broncos clash

Gold Coast Titans have confirmed the shock departure of Justin Holbrook as coach, with Des Hasler set to take over for the 2024 NRL campaign.

The Titans made the announcement on Thursday morning, just days before they take on the Brisbane Broncos in the big derby clash on Sunday.

Former Manly Sea Eagles coach Hasler is the man to lead the Titans from next season, with Holbrook’s assistant Jim Lenihan set to take over on an interim basis for the rest of the campaign.

The decision has been made with the Titans sitting in ninth spot on the NRL ladder and right in the mix to play finals.

Now all eyes will be on whether Lenihan can get a reaction against a Broncos side sitting pretty at the top of the ladder.

WhatBrisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans
WhereSuncorp Stadium, Brisbane
When16:00 (AEST), Sunday 25th June 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsBrisbane Broncos 1.36, Gold Coast Titans 3.10

Broncos target four on the spin

The Broncos are flying high after winning the last three games on the bounce and the majority of the squad should be well rested after the bye.

Coach Kevin Walters will now be hoping that his State of Origin stars, including gun fullback Reece Walsh, return unscathed and raring to go.

Brisbane have already put the Titans to the sword this season by beating them 43-26 on their own patch back in May.

Back at Suncorp, the Broncos will be confident of inflicting something similar on Sunday, and can be backed at 6.50 to win by 16-20 points.

The Broncos have won the last four games against the Titans, and have turned Suncorp into something of a fortress this season when winning six out of nine at the venue.

Selwyn Cobbo also loves Suncorp, with the winger scoring 10 tries in the last eight games played there. He can be backed at 6.50 to score the first try on Sunday.

Foran back for Titans

Following the surprise departure of their coach, it will be interesting to see how the Titans respond in the derby clash.

The Titans had improved on last season and were sitting just two points outside of the eight when the powers that be decided to pull the plug on Holbrook.

They had also won their last game against Wests Tigers before heading into the bye last weekend.

The Titans are boosted by the return of Kieran Foran, who will play at five-eighth following a four-week lay-off with a toe injury.

Like the Broncos, the Gold Coast will also be hoping their Origin stars have pulled up okay following Wednesday night’s game.

The Titans have only won two from seven away games this season and it would be a great time to grab their third.

Take away the game earlier in the season, and the clashes between these two teams are usually close. Gold Coast can be backed at 8.00 to nick the game by 1-5 points.

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