A New Zealand Warriors team in shambles will be looking to start their trademark run of form over the Origin period as they face a severely depleted Broncos side.

Last Time Out

The Warriors were disappointing yet again as they went down to the Dragons 30-14. Their edge defence, particularly on the right, was torn to shreds as the Dragons ran in 3 tries down that side. Along with 57 missed tackles for the night, it was a poor defensive display from a Warriors side that is driving their fans crazy with their lacklustre performances.

The Broncos racked up a huge 36-0 victory over the Tigers. Anthony Milford led the way as they gave a Tigers side in disarray, a thrashing. The 6 try hiding was offset by a particularly horrible head clash injury to Andrew McCullough. A severe concussion will see him left out the side this week along with losing 6 players to Origin duties.

Key Battle

The class of the halves and their performances will win the war for their teams on Saturday. It’s the forwards who will determine how the battle is won.

The Warriors pack was dominated last week and their poor tackling allowed the Dragons forwards to march up field with ease. Their defence needs to improve and fast. The return of Simon Mannering should strengthen their middle defence but the rest of the team need to all be focusing on running hard and tackling hard. If they can do that and get away some offloads, it’ll allow Kieran Foran and Shaun Johnson to work their magic.

The Broncos will lose 3 of their regular forwards to rep duties which significantly weakens their pack. However it allows for an opportunity for young guns like Jaydn Su’a and Jai Arrow to step up and make the most of their chance. It will also place further responsibility on players like Korbin Sims, who has been in fantastic form for the Broncos this year, to step up and lead from the front. If they can get over the Warriors forwards and halt their momentum, they can win the game for the Broncos.

Prediction

The Broncos are taking to the field with a severely depleted side albeit with a returning Ben Hunt amongst the ranks. The Warriors have barely been affected by Origin and looked primed to start their customary run over the Origin period. However given just how much adversity the Broncos are facing, would it really be any surprise to see them overcome it and for the Warriors to implode?

The Warriors should win and by a big margin which is exactly why they won’t. Broncos to edge it out by 6-8 points

Squads
New Zealand Warriors
1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ©
2 Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
3 Blake Ayshford
4 David Fusitua
5 Ken Maumalo
6 Kieran Foran
7 Shaun Johnson
8 James Gavet
9 Issac Luke
10 Ben Matulino
11 Bodene Thompson
12 Ryan Hoffman
13 Simon Mannering
Interchange:
14 Nathaniel Roache
15 Sam Lisone
16 Albert Vete
17 Bunty Afoa
Reserves:
18 Tuimoala Lolohea
20 Toafofoa Sipley
21 Ligi Sao
22 Mason Lino

Brisbane Broncos
1 Jordan Kahu
2 Jonus Pearson
3 James Roberts
4 Tautau Moga
5 David Mead
6 Benji Marshall
7 Ben Hunt
8 Herman Ese’Ese
9 Travis Waddell
10 Adam Blair ©
11 Alex Glenn
12 Jaydn Su’A
13 Korbin Sims
Interchange:
14 George Fai
15 Joe Ofahengaue
16 Jai Arrow
18 Kodi Nikorima
Reserves:
17 Joe Boyce
19 Jamayne Isaako
20 Tevita Pangai Junior
21 Francis Molo