Down 12-0 at the break in the national capital the Cowboys looked like being steamrolled by the Green Machine but instead they dug deep and produced three qualtiy tries to stun the Raiders and their coach.
The Titans were in it all the way at 4 Pines Park and finished four tries apiece woth Manly but Toby Sexton's radar deserted him and it was another case of 'what might have been' for Justin Holbrook.
Plenty of great clashes across the park with Tino Fa'asuamaleaui and David Fifita squaring off with Jason Taumalolo and Jeremiah Nanai, while Holmes and Hiku against Kelly and Herbert in the centres should be an intriguing battle of speed, strength and experience.
Cowboys: Bench forward Griffin Neame returns from concussion and Jordan McLean starts with Reuben Cotter back to the bench and Connelly Lemuelu dropping out. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (knee) was listed among the reserves on Tuesday but was cut from the squad on Friday along with Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, Riley Price, Jordan Lipp and Tomas Chester.
Titans: Justin Holbrook has named the same 17 that put up a strong second-half showing against Manly. Fullback Jayden Campbell was listed among the reserves on Tuesday as he nears a return from a rib injury that has sidelined him since round three but he was cut from the squad in the 24-hour update along with Tanah Boyd, Sam McIntyre, Sosefo Fifita and Corey Thompson.
Jason Taumalolo v David Fifita: Two giants of the game who put their team on their back and carry them when an inspirational charge is needed. Taumalolo has run for 1020 metres at an average of 170m per game with a whopping 447 of those metres coming post-contact. Fifita has made 767 metres at 128 per game and his impact has been massive the past two weeks with a couple of barnstorming individual tries that very few players are capable of scoring.
The Sharks lead the NRL for line breaks with 39 in six games, well clear of the Storm on 32. The Cowboys showed what they can do with an even share of possession as they powered home to beat Canberra in round five but still have just 18 line breaks for the year while the Titans have 26, of which David Fifita has five.
Story first published on NRL.com