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Round 22 continues tonight when the Brisbane Broncos take on the Sydney Roosters looking for a repeat of their massive upset earlier in the season. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 8:05pm (AEST).
The Broncos’ season is well and truly over, but they do get a chance to derail teams heading towards finals. The Sydney Roosters are expected to win this but the Broncos’ improvement of late will have them a least a little bit worried.
Brisbane are coming off a 28-20 loss to the Knights last weekend, but they were in the match for almost the entirety. Prior to that, they comfortably beat the Cowboys. With all their games at home, the Broncos are playing better football. Whether that is good enough to beat the Roosters remains to be seen.
Payne Haas has been tremendous for the Broncos in recent weeks, with his State of Origin experience proving a large bonus. Youngster Tesi Niu is getting better each week and will test the Roosters’ defence.
Thomas Flegler returns from suspension, and replaces the injured Keenan Palasia in Kevvie Walters’ starting team. Albert Kelly comes in at half for Brodie Croft, Selwyn Cobbo replaces Jesse Arthars at centre, whilst Xavier Coates replaces Jamayne Isaako.
The Roosters got close against an understrength Panthers unit last weekend, but ultimately fell short. Errors and ill discipline cost them dearly and they will need to remove those from their game if they want to progress far in September.
Having said that, the Roosters have done remarkably well to be sitting that high on the ladder, given their long-term injury toll. Trent Robinson has blooded a group of young players and it is starting to pay off.
Sitili Tupouniua moves from centre to second row to replace the suspended Angus Crichton. Joey Manu comes into the centres, while Dale Copley will play his first game for the Roosters on the wing. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves gets a rest with Naufahu Whyte joining the bench.
This is a real danger game for the Roosters, with JWH an integral part of their forward pack.
However, they still have a number of big-game players like James Tedesco and Victor Radley and they will just get the job done.
Sydney Roosters by 6.
1. Tesi Niu 2. Corey Oates 3. Selwyn Cobbo 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Xavier Coates 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Albert Kelly 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Danny Levi 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn (c) 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington
Bench/Reserves: 14. Xavier Willison 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. TC Robati | 18. Cory Paix 19. Anthony Milford 20. Brendan Piakura 21. David Mead
1. James Tedesco (c) 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Adam Keighran 4. Joey Manu 5. Dale Copley 6. Drew Hutchison 7. Sam Walker 8. Isaac Liu 9. Sam Verrills 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Nat Butcher 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley
Bench/Reserves: 14. Lachlan Lam 15. Egan Butcher 16. Fletcher Baker 17. Naufahu Whyte | 18. Ben Marschke 19. Tuku Hau Tapuha 20. Brad Abbey 21. Ben Thomas