ANZ Stadium, Friday, 8.05pm AEDT
Bulldogs: Sam Perrett, Mitch Brown, Josh Morris, Chase Stanley, Corey Thompson, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Aiden Tolman, Michael Ennis (c), James Graham, Frank Pritchard (c), Tony Williams, Dale Finucane. Interchange: Josh Jackson, Pat O’Hanlon, Tim Browne, David Klemmer, Moses Mbye
Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Dale Copley, Lachlan Maranta, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker (c), Alex Glenn, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett. Interchange: Ben Hannant, Martin Kennedy, Todd Lowrie, Jarrod Wallace, David Hala
Before this match, the big talking point is Ben Barba facing off against his old team.
The fullback, who failed to live up to his 2012 form last season, pulls on the Brisbane jersey for the first time in a premiership game, with a lot expected of the elusive ball runner.
The real litmus test for Brisbane however, is not so much how Barba will perform, but how Josh Hoffman will go at five eight, a makeshift position for the man who lost his spot at the back to Barba.
With long term playmaker Peter Wallace having departed to Penrith, the pressure on the Broncos young halves in Hoffman, and Ben Hunt will be immense.
The inexperience here will prove too much for the Brisbane side.
The Bulldogs on the other hand have the experienced halves pairing of Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson to lead them round the park, and despite the fact they are missing key players such as Greg Eastwood, Sam Kasiano, and Krisnan Inu, have named a strong side featuring State and International standard players such asMichael Ennis, Sam Perrett, and James Graham.
Even if Barba finds form, the strength in the Bulldogs pack will prove too much for Brisbane.
Bulldogs by 18 points.
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