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We return to the scene of the Magic Round, with just the one game being played this weekend, and the Brisbane Broncos come off a last round win to face the presently all-conquering Sydney Roosters. Join The Roar from 7:50pm (AEST) for live scores and blog of the game.
Last week was an unnecessarily tough win for the Broncos, who took out the two competition points against an undermanned Manly Sea Eagles, a team that just cannot seem to keep fit players on the park.
Brisbane are having a less than impressive season, that is not exactly over-stating the matter, but what will be of the most concern to Andrew Siebold is that Brisbane this year are more of the schoolyard bully than the imperious NRL juggernaut they have been in the past.
The three wins that Brisbane have accrued so far this year have relied heavily on coming up against less than full strength opponents, where the Cowboys, Sharks and the Sea Eagles all suffered horrendous injury blows that played into Brisbane hands.
Otherwise this season, when the Broncos have come up against full strength opponents, they have struggled, the South Sydney game being the prime example.
Brisbane then are facing their own injury concerns, and the loss of Jack Bird, who was finally playing himself into the type of form to justify his price tag and get him back into representative discussions, has happened at just the worst possible time.
So while Brisbane will take confidence in notching up their third win of the season, the loss of troops and continuing to piece together combinations remains a difficulty that Siebold is doing well to juggle while trying to justify his own big-money move across the border.
And coming up against a rampaging Sydney Roosters won’t help the Broncos at the moment.
The Roosters are looking pretty good at the moment.
Having said that though, their record against the other top three opponents, while it reads two wins, one loss, suggests that the Roosters are not quite yet the complete product.
The Roosters have managed a 1-point and 6-point win and an opening round loss, so Trent Robinson will know that his team still need to iron out kinks in their premiership defence.
Otherwise, the Roosters have made light work of all other teams before them.
They will go into this contest with confidence, however the loss of Boyd Cordner is a big blow, and history has shown that when the Broncos play the Roosters, anything can happen.
The Roosters also welcome off-season recruit Ryan Hall into the side, who comes in for Daniel Tupou.
The Roosters have the edge int he head-to-head over the last five games, but absolutely towelled up Brisbane in the round four clash, and while the result should not be as much of a blowout this time around, the Roosters should still get the job done handsomely.
First is playing 11th, and that should be enough to see the Roosters maintain their authority over this opponent, and keep their title defence on track.
Roosters by 20.
Join The Roar from 7:50pm (AEST) for live scores and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comments section below.
When: Friday, 17 March 2019, at 7:50 PM
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
TV: Channel 9, Fox Sports 502, Kayo and NRL app
Betting: Broncos $2:82, Roosters $1.45, line 6.5 $1.90
1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Kotoni Staggs, 4. Gehamat Shibasaki, 5. Jamayne Isaako, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Tom Dearden, 8. Matt Lodge, 9. Jake Turpin, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Thomas Flegler.
Interchange: 14. Patrick Carrigan, 15. David Fifita, 16. Tevita Pangai Junior, 17. Joe Ofahengaue.
1. James Tedesco, 2. Ryan Hall, 3. Latrell Mitchell, 4. Joseph Manu, 5. Matt Ikuvalu, 6. Luke Keary, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9. Victor Radley, 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho, 11. Mitchell Aubusson, 12. Angus Crichton, 13. Isaac Liu.
Interchange: 14. Nat Butcher, 15. Xane Tetevano, 16. Lindsay Collins, 17. Sitili Tupouniua.