Titans lose Fifita to flu ahead of Warriors clash

Melissa Woods |

Gold Coast have one Fifita coming in and another going out, with winger Jojo a late withdrawal from their NRL clash with the Warriors.

The Titans have welcomed back star forward David Fifita for Saturday’s showdown, after he missed last round’s frustrating loss to Wests Tigers which left the Queenslanders anchoring the NRL ladder.

But his young cousin Jojo Fifita was on Friday ruled out of the Cbus Super Stadium clash with the flu, forcing an outside-back reshuffle on Gold Coast’s right edge.

Jacob Alick-Wiencke will join the starting side in the centres, pushing Phil Sami to the wing.

The Titans are looking to repeat their round-eight win over the Warriors in Auckland, where the New Zealanders also lost in the last round – against Melbourne.

Warriors captain Tohu Harris has been recalled from the bench to the starting side at lock, while star back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns after missing five games through hamstring trouble to replace Rocco Berry (shoulder).

The Kiwi outfit are without another three regulars, with back-rowers Kurt Capewell and Mitchell Barnett unavailable due to State of Origin duty while winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is serving a one-game ban.

Despite the Storm defeat, Harris said his team, who sit 12th on the ladder, had improved since their three-point loss to Gold Coast on Anzac Day.

“What stings is that we didn’t play well, but we’ve improved a hell of a lot since the last time we played them,” Harris said.

“We didn’t perform how we wanted to, how we prepared to, but that’s where we’re better as a team now. 

“We’re translating what we’re doing in training a lot better onto the field – and we’re training a lot better.”