Baby Broncos Tackle Warriors

Picture: Peter Wallis/news.com.au
Andrew McCullough is the most experienced Broncos forward lining up this week. Picture: Peter Wallis/news.com.au
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The Brisbane Broncos  will be missing more than 1100 games worth of NRL experience when they tackle the Warriors  at Suncorp Stadium on Monday night, with almost half their first choice 17 either on State of Origin duty or suffering injury. Matt Gillett, Justin Hodges, Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday are all in camp with the Maroons ahead of Wednesday’s series opener against the Blues, while Ben Hannant David Stagg and Jack Reed are all injured. Although coach Anthony Griffin has had to call several young players into his squad, he will be buoyed by the return of veteran playmaker Scott Prince, who will partner Peter Wallace in the halves for the first time since round nine.

The Warriors are one of the few NRL clubs not to have been struck by State of Origin callups and they have made just one change to the side that scored a 28-12 victory over the Knights at Mt Smart Stadium last weekend. Giant centre Konrad Hurrell will play his first top grade match since round seven after being called up to replace Carlos Tuimavave at left centre, while former Origin representative Jacob Lillyman will celebrate his 150th NRL match at Suncorp Stadium.

1st Tryscorer

Denan Kemp  has been given his first opportunity in first grade this season against New Zealand and will be determined to build on his impressive tryscoring record in the NRL. Since making his debut in the 2007, the 25 year-old has scored 21 tries in 32 appearances for the Broncos.

Konrad Hurrell  has been plying his trade in the NSW Cup since being dumped by the Warriors after round seven and will be determined to make an immediate impact against Brisbane. He will come up against the pairing of Josh Hoffman and Jordan Kahu who have never played beside each other before and will fancy his chances of inflicting some damage on the left side of the field.

Prediction

The Broncos may be without several of their big guns but they will still field a strong side at Suncorp Stadium on Monday night, with a good mix of youth and experience. They have won five of their past six matches against the Warriors and although the New Zealand based side is virtually at full strength, it is hard to ignore the fact that they have lost nine on the trot in Australia. Brisbane Broncos by 2

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