Date: Friday 27th June, 2014
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges (c), Dale Copley, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Jake Granville, Ben Hannant, Alex Glenn, Corey Oates, Sam Thaiday. Interchange: Todd Lowrie, David Stagg, Dave Hala, Jarrod Wallace
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Jonathan Wright, Ricky Leutele, Jacob Gagan, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Sam Tagataese, Michael Lichaa, Bryce Gibbs, Luke Lewis, Wade Graham, Paul Gallen. Interchange: Fa’amanu Brown, Tinirau Arona, Anthony Tupou, Siosaia Vave, Chris Heighington
The Brisbane Broncos have hit their straps in season 2014, while the Cronulla Sharks are making history for all the wrong reasons, having not posted a point since their round ten clash. It all points towards a lopsided affair at Suncorp Stadium this Friday night.
While the Broncos went down last week to an impressive New Zealand Warriors side, they have shown this season that they can mix it with the best in the competition, highlighted by their thrashing of top placed Manly a few weeks ago.
The Sharks on the other hand can’t catch a break. Expected to be more competitive with a number of their injured players returning last week, they instead lost 26-nil to that same Manly side.
Now, as they travel north, it seems they won’t have much to take back from the trip, besides maybe an improved tan.
Realistically, without a complete change of heart, the Sharks will be just making up the numbers in the game.
Ben Hunt has been in wonderful form for Brisbane, and on the back of the go-forward from his big forwards, should again be at the forefront of the Broncos attack.
Another Ben, this time fullback Ben Barba, has also been getting back towards his best. At the start of the season, many were questioning the value of the small number one, however his confidence is growing with every carry each week. That spells danger for opposition, because a confident Ben Barba can score from anywhere on the field.
For the Sharks, well they have to turn their attitude around.
Paul Gallen came out earlier in the week and spoke about the club’s lack of commitment starting from the coach down, and it is time the troops turned up, if not for the coach, then for their fans.
Last year the team showed they were finals contenders, and to now be languishing on the bottom with the squad that Cronulla has is inexcusable. The likes of Gallen, Todd Carrney, Luke Lewis and the rest of the team need to stand up and be counted.
However, even if they do manage to turn up and play strong football, against this confident Brisbane side, it may not be enough.
Brisbane by 16.