Newcastle Coach Adam O'Brien said post-game that he saw resilience in his side's performance - but that's not the way the Fox League host…
The Brisbane Broncos have been surging through the competition lately, winning seven in a row.
Brisbane’s season couldn’t have been much better so far, putting them fourth on the ladder. This is major progress compared to the last couple of years, when they finished in the bottom three.
There wouldn’t be a Red Hill fan in the country who’s not pleased with the step up their side has taken this campaign. At the beginning of the season four straight games were lost and shades of recent years were evident.
However, after a win against the Bulldogs, the Broncos were quick to get back on track after a 2-0 start. An argument can’t be made that the teams they’ve come up against are all poor, as they were able to defeat the likes of like Rabbitohs, Sharks, Raiders and Sea Eagles. An extravagant second-half comeback against the Titans showed how much this team has turned around, and the attitude is on spot.
During Brisbane’s most recent outing they were faced with a hard challenge against the Raiders due to three of their top players going down. The Broncos were without Adam Reynolds, Herbie Farnworth and Payne Haas for more than 20 minutes, plus Ezra Mam was taken off for a head injury assessment with ten minutes remaining. Once again the Broncos showed why they are a top team in the league this season, holding their one-try lead and unbelievably leaving Canberra scoreless in the second half.
Brisbane’s current injury toll could prove costly, although they’ve proved over the season that they can fight through absences. Leading Brisbane’s casualty ward is Herbie Farnworth, who picked up a season-ending ruptured bicep injury. Farnworth’s injury could unfortunately have a large impact on the rest of Brisbane’s season.
Adam Reynolds and Cory Paix also are currently on the Broncos injury list too. Paix will be sitting on the sidelines for six to eight weeks, but though Reynolds was not named this week, he should be back to play in the Queensland derby in Round 16.
Not everything is bad news at Red Hill. Payne Haas has been listed top play on Friday night despite being taken out of the game during the first half due to damage to his shoulder. Plus Kotoni Staggs will play despite ending his Origin debut early due to hurting his shoulder.
Their opponents, the Melbourne Storm, have been winning as per usual lately and will look to gain two more important competition points at home. Ryan Papenhuyzen was supposed to make his return, but this is no longer the case, as he contracted COVID-19 on Wednesday. The Storm haven’t had many troubles without him – besides losing two straight matches of course.
Despite Papenhuyzen not returning, this will still be a very tough challenge for Brisbane to overcome in Melbourne. It is so seriously hard to beat the Storm at home. Obviously, as a Broncos fan, a lot of bias comes into play when predicting this blockbuster, but I’m going to tip with my heart and take the Storm to end Brisbane’s winning streak. The absence of Reynolds will count for a lot up against one of the classiest teams in the competition.
Even with my head taking over my heart, I will of course remain the Broncos number one fan on Friday night.
Storm by eight.