After the historic scenes at Belmore Sports Ground two weeks ago the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs hit the road and travel north to Brisbane. A one team city that always turn up in droves to support the Broncos who look to maintain their fourth position on the NRL ladder, as they take on white and blue army this Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Key Battle

The Bulldogs have had two weeks to prepare for this important match and are still riding high on the amazing victory at Belmore against Newcastle. The Broncos have had a similar task by getting over a highly competitive Knights team in Round 19. The key battle will definitely be in the forwards as both the Broncos and the Bulldogs have proven to have lethal forward packs when on song. This game will include five forwards who have featured in the 2017 origin series. Expect the passion and fire from both origin camps to be present as NSW representatives Josh Jackson and David Klemmer and Queensland representatives Josh McGuire, Matt Gillett and Sam Thaiday face each other off in what will be a hard hitting game of rugby league. Whoever has the most energy and can stand tall during the battle of attrition will definitely come home with the two competition points.

Line up changes

Despite their front line captain James Graham still out with injury the Bulldogs will enjoy the company of David Klemmer, Brett Morris and Josh Jackson who return from their origin duties. That means the Bulldogs will have one of the biggest benches going around this weekend with Sam Kasiano, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Frances Tualau and Matt Frawley all capable of injecting energy and much needed impact into the clash. For the Broncos Benji Marshall will still play of the bench as Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire return after having last weekend off due to origin duties. Wayne Bennett will be hoping to see that McGuire and Gillett can carry the Queensland desire and spirit into his side as young fullback Jamayne Isaako will retain the number one jersey.

Prediction

The Bulldogs are the side that will be desperate for the victory in order to keep their slim 2017 finals hopes alive. If the men in white and blue can get over the line against a well controlled and composed Broncos outfit they need to be dynamic in their attack, make Brisbane work in defence and make sure their forwards have a strong running game. The Broncos have a lot to play for also as they set their sights to finish in the top four. With an improved defensive performance the Broncos will be hard to defeat on home soil especially if Marshall, Milford and Hunt continue their unique and satisfying combinations in attack. In what could be a low scoring affair the Broncos should come away with two competition points and unfortunately could bring an end to the Bulldogs 2017 season.

The Broncos by 6

Squads

Brisbane Broncos vs Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs, Thursday 20th July 7:50PM at Suncorp Stadium

Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako, 2. Jonus Pearson, 3. James Roberts, 4. Tautau Moga, 5. Jordan Kahu, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Ben Hunt, 8. Korbin Sims, 9. Andrew McCullough, 10. Adam Blair, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday, 15. Tevita Pangai, 16. Joe Ofahengaue, 17. Benji Marshall. Reserves: 18. Jai Arrow, 19. Jaydn Su’a, 20. Tom Opacic, 21. Kodi Nikorima

Bulldogs: 1 Will Hopoate 2 Brett Morris 3 Josh Morris 4 Chase Stanley 5 Marcelo Montoya 6 Josh Reynolds 7 Moses Mbye 8 Aiden Tolman 9 Michael Lichaa 10 Danny Fualalo 11 Josh Jackson 12 Adam Elliott 13 David Klemmer. Interchange: 14 Sam Kasiano 15 Raymond Faitala Mariner 16 Francis Tualau 17 Matt Frawley. Reserves: 19 Andy Saunders 20 Kerrod Holland 21 Asipeli Fine 23 Brenko Lee