Broncos Prince Returns Against Sea Eagles

Picture: Tim Marsden/theaustralian.com.au
Scott Prince hasn't played for the Broncos since 2003. Picture: Tim Marsden/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 25 2012 – Manly Sea Eagles 16 d Brisbane Broncos 6 at Brookvale Oval
Round 10 2012 – Manly Sea Eagles 24 d Brisbane Broncos 22 at Suncorp Stadium
Preliminary Final 2011 – Manly Sea Eagles 26 d Brisbane Broncos 14 at Sydney Football Stadium
Round 26 2011 – Brisbane Broncos 18 d Manly Sea Eagles 10 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 12 2011 – Manly Sea Eagles 34 d Brisbane Broncos 10 at Suncorp Stadium

The Brisbane Broncos  will be looking to start 2013 better than they finished 2012 when they take on the Manly Sea Eagles  at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night. After starting the season well, Brisbane limped into the finals off the back of six defeats from their last seven regular season matches before being bundled out of the finals by North Queensland in week one. Corey Norman was heavily criticised last season and has been shifted to fullback, allowing off-season signing Scott Prince to team up with Peter Wallace in the halves. Sam Thaiday moves to the front row, with Test prop Ben Hannant on the bench alongside the returning David Stagg.

Manly welcome several new faces into the side for the season opener, with Justin Horo and Brenton Lawrence both selected in the starting side. Winger David Williams returns after suffering a season ending knee injury in round 24 last year, but co-captain Jason King misses out as he continues to recover from a shoulder injury and hard running backrower Tony Williams has left the club.

1st Tryscorer – The Broncos were dangerous on the fringes in 2012 and their backrowers scored plenty of tries when the ball was shifted wide. Second rower Alex Glenn was the team’s leading tryscorer last season and his playmakers won’t shy away from employing the same tactic that was so successful last year.

Former Test winger David Williams has been plagued by injury in the past two seasons but remains one of the best finishers in the game at full fitness. He scored 12 tries in 16 matches last season, including a double against Brisbane here in round 10.

Prediction – Given the dismal way that Brisbane ended its last campaign, it is hard to see why there is such a gulf in the prices available for these sides. Manly has won three in a row against the Broncos and Suncorp Stadium holds no fears for them. There looks to be little between the sides so you just have to fancy the Sea Eagles as outsider. Manly Sea Eagles 1-12

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