NRL match preview: Brisbane Broncos vs Melbourne Storm

Date: Friday July 25
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 7:40pm


Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Lachlan Maranta, Dale Copley, Justin Hodges, Jordan Kahu, Ben Barba, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker, Alex Glenn, Matt Gillett, Sam Thaiday. Interchange: Jake Granville, Ben Hannant, Martin Kennedy, Todd Lowrie, Jarrod Wallace, Jack Reed, Corey Oates, Daniel Vidot

Storm: Billy Slater, Sisa Waqa, Will Chambers, Mahe Fonua, Marika Koroibete, Ben Roberts, Cooper Cronk, Jesse Bromwich, Cameron Smith, Bryan Norrie, Kevin Proctor, Ryan Hoffman, Ryan Hinchcliffe. Interchange: Tim Glasby, Tohu Harris, Kenneath Bromwich, Jordan McLean, Dayne Weston, Young Tonumaipea


Brisbane will put behind the off-field dramas surrounding the club when they host Melbourne on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

There’s been mixed feelings about the off-field drama surrounding the return of Wayne Bennett, and subsequent axing of Anthony Griffin at the end of the season.  Griffin has the support of the players, but management have decided to splash out big money to get back their foundation coach.  They’ll be a lot of interest how the players will react to this week’s events on Friday night.  A lot of supporters are sympathetic towards Griffin with the Broncos heading towards the finals series after missing out last season.

After Ben Barba’s success playing at five-eighth last week, Griffin has moved Josh Hoffman to fullback.  Matt Gillett will start in the back row and Jack Reed, Corey Oates and Daniel Vidot return in a twenty-one man squad named by the Broncos.  Corey Parker has been in fine form and will be the key player if the Broncos are to record victory.

The Storm somewhat got back into form with a good win over the Raiders last weekend as they climb up into the eight.  Ryan Hinchcliffe will start at lock with Jordan McLean to start from the bench.  Junior Moors is out, with Craig Bellamy selecting Kenny Bromwich, Dayne Weston and Young Tonumaipea on an extended bench.  Look towards the Melbourne ‘spine’ of Slater, Cronk and Smith to get Melbourne to victory.  They haven’t been at their best but they do enjoy Suncorp Stadium success both at club, and Origin level.

Brisbane to defy the odds will need to record their first victory over Melbourne since May 9 2010 when the Broncos won 36-14 on a night that Israel Folau scored a double.


Storm by 8

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