Broncos skipper Sam Thaiday will return to the Broncos after a successful origin series. Image courtesy of: foxsports.com.au
Broncos v Warriors
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin will welcome back a wealth of State of Origin stars for the Broncos round nineteen clash against the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium. Griffin has opted to rest key Origin player’s after all three blockbusters and the extra time on the sidelines after last week’s bye should have the Broncos primed for a big game against the Warriors. The Warriors will be without hulking centre Konrad Hurrel who has succumbed to a foot injury suffered in last week’s convincing win over the Titans.
– Traditionally the Warriors struggle at Suncorp Stadium recording a solitary win from their past five games on the Broncos hallowed turf. The Brian McLennan coached side will be confident of snatching a victory after recording a solid 20-10 round nine win against the Broncos at Mt Smart Stadium. The Broncos will have different ideas however and will be hoping for a repeat performance which saw them crush the Warriors 40 – 10 in week one of finals last season.
– Alex Glenn has been shifted from the back row to replace the injured Jack Reed in the centres and is sure to add plenty of potency to the Broncos backline, Glenn is in fine form and tops the Broncos try scorers list with nine for the season and is sure to be a handful for the Warriors defence. Despite only playing sixteen first grade games young Warriors centre Ben Henry has cemented his place in the Warriors starting side, Henry has already crossed for six tries this season, two of which were the first of the game.
– How will the star-studded Broncos handle the post origin period? They navigated a tricky origin period recording 3 wins from six games, however will be tested significantly by the the inform Warriors. The Warriors are in fine form and need to continue their winning run if they are a chance of featuring in back-to-back grand finals. Warriors 1-12 .
Bulldogs v Parramatta
The Bulldogs host Parramatta on Friday night in what is one of the biggest rugby league rivalries of all time, however both teams are currently in completely diferent situations. The Bulldogs are flying on the back of six game winning streak to sit in outright second just one win behind the Storm. Parramatta on the other hand are strong favourites to claim the wooden spoon after losing eight of the past ten games to sit in last position on the competition ladder. The Eels will miss hooker Matt Keating who has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a bulging disk while former Kiwi international Greg Eastwood has been named in the Bulldogs starting side.
– Surprisingly Parramatta enjoy the upper hand in recent seasons winning six of the past ten games between the two clubs, however the Bulldogs have reigned victors in the past three games, the last of which was a 46-12 drubbing at ANZ Stadium in round nine this season. The Eels will need to overcome an ANZ Stadium hoodoo if they are any chance of beating the Dogs, Parramatta has lost five straight games at the Bulldogs home ground.
– Ben Barba . Barba is on fire and is in hot contention to claim the 2012 Dally M Medal. Barba has scored the game’s 1st try an astonishing five times and leads the NRL in line breaks, he will be a handful for the struggling Eels defence. Eels winger Ken Sio has been a revelation on the end of a struggling backline scoring nine tries for the season and will need to fire if the Eels are any chance of upsetting the Bulldogs.
– All signs are pointing to a Bulldogs win, it would be nothing short of miraculous if the Eels are able to record an upset, which looks highly unlikely on the back of their current form. Bulldogs 13+ .
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