NRL match preview: Brisbane Broncos vs Gold Coast Titans

Date: Friday May 16
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 7:40pm


Broncos: Ben Barba, Daniel Vidot, Jack Reed, Justin Hodges, Dale Copley, Josh Hoffman, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Jarrod Wallace, Alex Glenn, Corey Parker, Matt Gillett. Interchange: David Hala, Ben Hannant, Corey Oates, Todd Lowrie, Jake Granville

Titans: David Mead, Kevin Gordon, William Zillman, Brad Takairangi, Anthony Don, Aidan Sezer, Albert Kelly, Luke Douglas, Beau Falloon, Nate Myles (c), Mark Minichiello, David Taylor, Ashley Harrison. Interchange: Matthew White, Luke Bailey, Cody Nelson, Paul Carter, Mark Ioane


Brisbane will welcome back Ben Hannant to their side for their big derby clash against third placed Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.  He will start from the bench in replacing Sydney Roosters recruit Martin Kennedy who this week gets demoted to Queensland Cup by coach Anthony Griffin.  Jarrod Wallace is promoted to prop and Jake Granville is the eighteenth man.  Sam Thiaday is still unavailable through injury.

Gold Coast and New South Wales are set to suffer a heavy blow with Greg Bird’s lifting charge coming out of the loss to South Sydney to be decided at judiciary.  The Titans resigned to losing Bird for this week’s game, giving Mark Minichiello a start in the second row.  John Cartwright welcomes back Luke Bailey with Ryan James axed.  Paul Carter will provide some punch off the bench as he replaces Matt Srama.  Matt White and Cody Nelson are named in a five man bench.

Brisbane need to avoid a slow start that’s put them well behind the pace in losses to South Sydney and North Queensland Cowboys.  Matt Gillett, Andrew McCullough and Ben Hunt need to lead from the front and provide the opportunities for Ben Barba to get into the game.  For the Titans, they’ll be backing themselves to win the forward battle and spread the ball wide to Anthony Don in particular to provide chances.


Greg Bird’s omission from the Titans and humiliation against South Sydney at home last weekend gives the Brisbane Broncos a golden opportunity to record their fifth win of 2014 and avoid sliding further down the ladder.

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