Jamal Idris and Mark Minichiello combine to halt the Cowboys Johnathan Thurston.
Jamal Idris and Mark Minichiello combine to halt the Cowboys Johnathan Thurston. Ian Hitchcock

Titans take top place

DESPISED rank outsiders in betting markets one minute and 80 minutes later, Gold Coast Titans are the National Rugby League premiership pacemakers after the opening round of matches in the new 2012 season.

Of course there were eight victors in round one but the Titans, who strolled in for 18 points and kept North Queensland Cowboys scoreless, hold pride of place on the ladder on percentages.

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The Titans get their chance to maintain their position when they host Canberra Raiders at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

Coach John Cartwright will stick with a winning formula for the clash, naming an unchanged line-up on Tuesday afternoon.

After a two-try effort on debut against the Cowboys, Jamal Idris will make his anticipated first appearance in Titans colours at Skilled Park alongside fellow fresh faces Nate Myles and Luke Douglas, who also impressed against the Cowboys.

The Titans will be out to protect their unbeaten record against the Raiders on the Gold Coast, a record which includes four victories at Skilled Park and one at Gold Coast Stadium since 2007.

Gold Coast Titans: 1 Williams Zillman 2 Steve Michaels 3 Jamal Idris 4 Dom Peyroux 5 David Mead 6 Jordan Rankin 7 Scott Prince (c) 8 Luke Bailey 9 Kayne Lawton 10 Nate Myles 11 Greg Bird 12 Mark Minichiello 13 Ashley Harrison. Interchange: 14 Luke Douglas 15 Matthew White 16 Ben Ridge 17 Matt Srama 18 Luke O'Dwyer.

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