Can 2012 get any sweeter for Bulldogs superstar Ben Barba? Image courtesy of: couriermail.com.au
Bulldogs coach Des Hasler couldn’t have wished for a better preparation for his side leading into this year’s final series. The Bulldogs have stamped their claims on this year’s title following ten consecutive wins to sit on top of the ladder heading into the pointy end of the season. Bulldogs halfback Kris Keating returns to the starting side after missing the past month with a knee injury. Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin has axed Kiwi fullback Josh Hoffman for the all-important clash after he showed up late to training on Wednesday. Hoffman’s likely replacement is out of favour pivot Corey Norman who started his career at fullback back in 2010.
History – Not a great deal separates these teams over the past two decades with Brisbane boasting a slight upperhand recording 23 wins to the Bulldogs 17. The past ten games have also followed a similar path with the Broncos recording six wins to the Bulldogs four. The Broncos have beaten the Bulldogs for five years in Sydney.
Dangermen – Can 2012 get any sweeter for Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba ? Barba leads the competition with seventeen tries for the season and boasts an impressive strike rate at ANZ Stadium scoring 30 tries in 34 appearances. The Bulldogs have been first tryscorers twelve times in their past fifteen games. Timing couldn’t be better for the return of Broncos centre Justin Hodges who is sure to add much needed flair to a struggling Brisbane backline.
Prediction – The absence of Corey Parker and Alex Glenn is sure to hurt the Broncos while the Bulldogs are full steam ahead to claim their first minor premiership since 1994. Bulldogs 1-12 .
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