Finals Hopes On The Line

Picture: Phil Hillyard/dailytelegraph.com.au
David Simmons is the leading tryscorer in the NRL this season. Picture: Phil Hillyard/dailytelegraph.com.au
Last 5 Meetings

Round 26, 2012 – Brisbane Broncos 19 d Penrith Panthers 12 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 10, 2011 – Penrith Panthers 33 d Brisbane Broncos 10 at Penrith Stadium
Round 4, 2011 – Brisbane Broncos 18 d Penrith Panthers 10 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 15, 2010 – Penrith Panthers 22 d Brisbane Broncos 12 at Suncorp Stadium
Round 23, 2009 – Brisbane Broncos 58 d Penrith Panthers 24 at Suncorp Stadium

Current Form

  Rd 19    Rd 20    Rd 21    Rd 22    Rd 23 
Panthers

L

L

L

L

W

Broncos

-

W

D

W

W


The Panthers  kept their faint finals hopes alive by breaking a four game losing streak last weekend and face another must win encounter against the Broncos  on Friday night. Lachlan Coote started at fullback in Penrith’s 28-24 victory over the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium last weekend and has again been asked to play the custodian role ahead of Matt Moylan. Tim Grant has been named to start in the front row alongside Sam McKendry, with Jeremy Latimore on the bench in an otherwise unchanged lineup.

The Broncos have kept faith in the same 17 man squad that extended its unbeaten run to four matches with a 22-12 victory over the Eels last Saturday, with Kiwi international Alex Glenn still a week away as he continues to recover from a broken thumb. With a string of other results going their way over the weekend, Brisbane is just a point outside the top eight and could find itself in a finals spot by the end of the round.


1st Tryscorer

Panthers winger David Simmons  was unwanted by Cronulla when he left the club at the end of 2009 but every team in the competition would love to have him on their books now. He is the leading tryscorer in the NRL with 19 tries in 21 appearances this season and has bagged the first try of the match for his team in five of his past ten outings.

Although he failed to get across the tryline, Josh Hoffman  put in a man of the match performance against the Eels in round 23 and remains the Broncos leading tryscorer in 2013 with 15 four pointers. He is in scintillating form at the moment and is making a good case to keep the number one jersey into next year.


Prediction

The Panthers season appeared to be fizzling out when they lost four matches in a row but last week’s win in New Zealand has breathed new life into their campaign. They have won just two of the past nine meetings between these sides however and may struggle against the rejuvenated Broncos, who have a very real chance of finishing in the top eight. Brisbane Broncos by 6

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