Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
The Brisbane Broncos are as in what might as well be a must-win match when they take on the Canterbury Bulldogs during Round 19. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 7:50pm (AEST).
As it stands, the Broncos are just three points out of the top eight, but their for and against is poor and there is a major logjam around the edge of the top eight.
They will need to win an absolute bare minimum of five, and maybe six of their last eight if they are going to play finals rugby league in 2019.
Games like this – at home against one of the few clubs who are below them on the ladder – are absolutely must-win for the Brisbane-based club.
However, they appear a mess. They came away with a draw against the New Zealand Warriors, and have had major spine changes in the last couple of weeks with Darius Boyd moving to the halves, Jake Turpin joining him and Anthony Milford at the back.
Their attack has looked more potent with that structure than it has all year, but they still need to find a way to get their forward pack consistent at both ends of the park.
Goalline defence has struggled at times, as has their general management of the game, which is hardly a surprise with both of their halves falling into the category of makeshift.
However, this is the game for them to build some momentum and make things happen in the centre of the park.
The Bulldogs do come in off an upset victory over the Knights last weekend, but the re-building club’s season is over in terms of finals, and all they can do now is keep building for 2020, which in truth, is all 2019 has ever been about.
Their attack is the biggest worry. Last week was just the fourth time all year they have scored more than 20 points and they comfortably have the worst attacking record in the competition, scoring just 210 points for the season.
On their day, the defence can hold its own, but with a severe inability to score points and a lack of success at Lang Park as a club, where they have won just two of their last 11 matches, this will be an uphill battle for the blue and white.
The Broncos are the stronger of the two sides, and need to make a statement here, building some momentum and confidence before a possible late, but difficult, push to the finals.
Broncos by 14.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the 2019 NRL season from 7:50pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Live, Channel 9, Fox League 502
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now, 9Now, NRL Digital Pass
Betting: Broncos $1.37, Bulldogs $3.05
Overall record: Played 54, Broncos 30, Bulldogs 23, drawn 1
Last meeting: Round 21, 2018 – Bulldogs 36 defeat Broncos 22 at ANZ Stadium, Homebush
Last five: Broncos 4, Bulldogs 1
Record at venue: Played 18, Broncos 9, Bulldogs 9
Referees: Ben Cummins, Belinda Sharpe
1. Anthony Milford 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Darius Boyd 7. Jake Turpin 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai 13. Thomas Flegler
Interchange: 14. James Segeyaro 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. David Fifita 17. Patty Carrigan 18. Rhys Kennedy 21. Keenan Palasia
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Marcelo Montoya 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Brandon Wakeham 7. Jack Cogger 8. Ofahiki Ogden 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott
Interchange: 14. Jeremy Marshall-King 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Chris Smith 19. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 21. Kerrod Holland