Allianz Stadium plays host to a blockbuster clash between the Sydney Roosters and Brisbane Broncos.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Roosters looked to be cruising along on a 5 match winning streak, 2 of those victories coming without Luke Keary. However they got hit with a healthy dose of reality as the Raiders put together a season best performance to down them 14-12 over the weekend. The Roosters actually scored more tries than what the Raiders did but poor discipline gave the Raiders 8 points worth of goals.
The Broncos had looked in danger of falling out of the top 8 after losing back to back matches against bottom 4 teams. They were thoroughly outplayed by the Bulldogs and were pipped at the post in another thrilling encounter with the Cowboys.
They weren’t to be outplayed by the Rabbitohs though. They rebounded in a big way with Corey Oates nabbing a hat-trick as the Broncos tore apart a weakened Souths backline. The match finished at 38-18 in a strong offensive showing.
Luke Keary returns at 5/8 in a big boost for the Roosters. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves has been named as 18th man with the potential to be a late inclusion.
Kotoni Staggs replaces Patrick Mago on the interchange.
The Roosters and Broncos last faced off in Round 11 with Brisbane coming away with the win 28-22. The match was a highly competitive and entertaining affair which saw tries traded back and forth between the two teams.
Down 22-16 in the last 10, some individual brilliance from James Roberts and Jamayne Isaako gave the Broncos consecutive tries to emerge victorious.
The interchange can sometimes be overlooked in games but in this match, it might just help determine the winner.
The Broncos duo of Matt Lodge and Korbin Sims have become impact weapons off the bench in recent weeks. Lodge has scored 3 tries in his last 5 games, the first 3 of his career. Sims has joined him with 4 tries in his last 3 games.
Their injection into the game from the interchange makes an immediate difference to the Broncos go forward and the Roosters bench management needs to be able to counter their influence.
Latrell Mitchell vs James Roberts
The last time these two met, it was the feature story of the game. Latrell got the better of Roberts in the first half but in the second half Roberts got the last laugh, scoring a crucial try as mentioned.
Whoever wins the battle between these two on Saturday is going to be important. They’re two of the few centres in the league who can turn the momentum of a game around single-handedly out of nothing. Shutting one another down is going to be key to their respective team’s game plan.
The last 14 matches between the two sides have been split at 7-apiece.
1 James Tedesco, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 4 Joseph Manu, 5 Blake Ferguson, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Cooper Cronk, 8 Dylan Napa, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Sio Siua Taukeiaho, 11 Boyd Cordner, 12 Isaac Liu, 13 Victor Radley
Interchange: 14 Nat Butcher, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Mitchell Aubusson, 17 Ryan Matterson
Reserves: 18 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 19 Sean O’Sullivan, 20 Paul Momirovski, 21 Lindsay Collins
1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jordan Kahu, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Tevita Pangai Junior, 13 Josh McGuire
Interchange: 14 Kotoni Staggs, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Korbin Sims, 17 David Fifita
Reserves: 18 Patrick Mago, 19 Troy Dargan, 20 Gehamat Shibasaki, 21 Sam Tagatese
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Saturday 25th August
Venue: Allianz Stadium
WHO WILL WIN?