Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Round 12 of NRL action begins when the Melbourne Storm travel to their home away from home to take on the suddenly surging Brisbane Broncos. Tune into all the action from Thursday night footy with live scores on The Roar from 7:50pm (AEST).
After toppling the Roosters in a stunning upset last week, the Broncos return home to Suncorp Stadium hoping to take down another of the NRL’s injury-plagued powerhouses.
Round 11’s 34-16 win, just the Broncos’ second for the season, was as brutal as it was unexpected, the Roosters losing their cool – and their composure – to give up a swathe of reports (most to Victor Radley), and six tries to the NRL’s second-worst attack.
The big news at selection table is the return of Anthony Milford, the veteran playmaker returned his number 7 jersey by Kevin Walters to replace the suspended Tyson Gamble. With Herbie Farnworth also back after being a late scratching, the Broncos are arguably in better shape than they were last week.
With Ryan Papenhuyzen, Cam Munster and Harry Grant all still unavailable, someone new to the NRL would be forgiven for thinking the Storm were vulnerable heading into this one.
There are just two problems with this. One: the Storm’s formidable record at Suncorp Stadium, where their winning percentage since joining the NRL betters even the Broncos themselves. And two: Craig Bellamy’s men simply steamroll over any challenge with the greatest of ease. Minus that critical trio, as well as Jahrome Hughes, they were still far too good for the struggling Raiders last week, a second-half onslaught making up for a sluggish start to see them pass the Eels into second on the NRL ladder.
All eyes will be on Xavier Coates in this match, the Broncos’ rising star having caused a stir earlier this year by revealing he’ll be joining the Storm on a two-year deal in 2022. No doubt he’ll be looking to put in a strong performance, both to impress his upcoming teammates and soften the blow for Broncos fans when he departs.
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEST)
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Fox League, Channel Nine (NSW/QLD/ACT/NT), 9Gem (VIC/WA/SA/TAS)
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel Now, Foxtel Go
Odds: Broncos $7.50, Storm $1.10 (odds via PlayUp)
1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Herbie Farnworth, 4. Jesse Arthars, 5. David Mead, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Albert Kelly, 8. Rhys Kennedy, 9. Jake Turpin (c), 10. Payne Haas, 11. Keenan Palasia, 12. Tevita Pangai Jr, 13. Thomas Flegler
Bench/Reserves: 14. Kobe Hetherington, 15. John Asiata, 16. Ethan Bullemor, 17. TC Robati | 18. Dale Copley, 19. Selwyn Cobbo
1. Nicho Hynes, 2. George Jennings, 3. Reimis Smith, 4. Justin Olam, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Chris Lewis, 7. Jahrome Hughes, 8. Jesse Bromwich, 9. Brandon Smith, 15. Tui Kamikamica, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Tom Eisenhuth, 13. Dale Finucane (c)
Bench/Reserves: 14. Aaron Booth, 16. Trent Loiero, 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 18. Dean Ieremia | 20. Aaron Pene, 21. Cooper Johns