Issac Luke makes his Broncos debut this weekend against the Titans in the number nine jersey. Growing up Luke idolised the Broncos so look to him to have a big game on Saturday. Echoing my article from last week, if the young forward pack can curb their league-leading penalties conceded, the backline can do some serious damage.
Will Hopoate deservedly retains his position at fullback, after an impressive game last week against the Dragons; running for a 187m and scoring one try. In recent history, the Dogs have won their last two games against the Tigers.
The struggling Cowboy’s aren’t short of motivation this week after conceding 34 points in the first half last week. Speaking to the media during the week, prop Josh McGuire called last week’s Cowboy’s performance “embarrassing”, so look for the key playmakers of Scott Drinkwater and Jake Clifford to manage their team’s performance on Saturday night.
Look for skipper Cameron McInnes and rookie halfback Adam Clune to steady their team against the in-form Roosters. With Tedesco potentially missing the game due to a concussion, the Roosters won’t have the same firepower.
In heart-breaking fashion, the Eels discovered what it takes to be the league’s best last week. Despite dominating for long stretches of the game last week, the Eels let themselves down through poorly timed errors and discipline. Facing the 2019 premiership runners up on Saturday, the Eels now know what it takes to reach that next level.
The in-form Knights continue to impress, sitting atop the ladder in equal second place. With Mitchell Pearce and Kaylyn Ponga in spectacular form at the moment. The Knights will have too much control for the Cowboys to win.
Coach Ivan Cleary announced zero changes to the squad that beat the Storm last week. Halfback Nathan Cleary controlled the game superbly last week, kicking the ball well over 500m and setting up one try.
James “Jimmy the Jet” Roberts returns to the line-up this week after missing time for personal reasons. Roberts starts the game off the bench, so look for him to have a strong impact when he takes the field. For the coach Wayne Bennett and his team this is a form testing game, as their last two wins were against the struggling Titans and Warriors.
Coach Ricky Stuart named an unchanged squad to take on the Eels on Saturday. Second-rower Elliot Whitehead is in form at the moment, running over 100m and scoring his teams only try last week.
The Roosters look to be back in premiership form, winning all 4 post-season suspension games. The combination of Victor Radley and Luke Keary continues to build, while captain Boyd Cordner remains dominant on the edge, running over 160m and scoring a try last week.
The Sea Eagles impressed last week against the Raiders, winning the game with one interchange player left on the bench. With Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker out for some time, coach Des Hasler has found the silver-lining with offload machine Martin Taupau and hard-hitting winger Jorge Taufua returning to the line-up. Although missing key-players, coach Des Hasler will have his team mentally and physically ready for the Sharks on Sunday.
The halves of Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend continues to build much needed chemistry, while veteran prop Andrew Fifita returns to the starting line-up. High-flying winger Sione Katoa scored three tries last week, look for him to score again off the boot of Johnson.
Halfback Jahrome Hughes and winger Josh Addo-Carr return to the line up after missing time due to injury. Cameron Munster was in remarkable form last week, setting up two tries against the Panthers while fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen continues to impress in his sophomore season, running well over 170m in his last four games.
The Tigers currently sit in their trademarked ninth spot on the ladder, just missing the top-eight with a differential of seven to the Rabbitohs 18. Although coach Michael Maguire would have mixed feelings after last week’s game; he cannot deny the first half, where the Tigers scored 34 unanswered points. Josh Reynolds starts again in the number six jersey, with a point to prove against his former club.
The Titans seemingly find that extra gear during the south-east Queensland derby, winning the last two games at Suncorp Oval. With the Broncos losing 4 games on the trot, the Titans need to pounce on the low in confidence Broncos squad. If the Titans can get in front early, they can let the Broncos defeat themselves again.
The theory states that after a coach has been shown the door, the team magically finds form the next week to get the win; this game will test that theory. Although Friday’s clash with the Storm will be a struggle, a bright spot has been Warriors five-eight Kodi Nikorima who has found form this season, playing a key part in the Warriors two wins this season.