NRL match preview: Brisbane Broncos vs Canterbury Bulldogs

Date: Friday August 8
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45pm


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

Bulldogs: Sam Perrett, Corey Thompson, Josh Morris, Timoteo Lafai, Mitch Brown, Josh Reynolds, Trent Hodkinson, Sam Kasiano, Michael Ennis, James Graham, Josh Jackson, Tony Williams, Greg Eastwood. Interchange: Aiden Tolman, Dale Finucane, David Klemmer, Lloyd Perrett, Moses Mbye, Reni Maitua


Brisbane and Canterbury are desperate for the two competition points when they face off in Friday night football at Suncorp Stadium. The Bulldogs looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat after going down to Penrith 16-22 at home last weekend, while Brisbane have just one win in the last five games with their finals hopes fading.  They couldn’t penetrate a strong Sea Eagles defense in going down 4-16 at Brookvale Oval last Friday.

The hosts have a major blow with Justin Hodges unavailable through a hamstring injury.  This presents out of favour Jack Reed with an opportunity to start at centre, with Lachlan Maranta added to the side to play on the wing.  Dale Copley will have his work cut out against the lively Tim Lafai in what could be one of the more interesting match-ups of the night.  The forward pack must dominate through Sam Thiaday and Corey Parker especially if there are any chance of sending the Bulldogs packing.  Without Hodges the question will remain, can the Broncos score enough points to win?

Canterbury welcome back Josh Morris back to the side. Morris’ return was great timing after Chase Stanley’s season ended last week with a shoulder injury.  Aiden Tolman also returns with Des Hasler naming a six man bench.  Hasler will expect more out of his players after giving them a spray following their defeat at the hands of Penrith.  Their poor execution let them down for seventy of the eighty minutes.  Three late tries demonstrates that if they can play like that for eighty minutes, they are well on their way to making an impact at finals time.  The question is, can they play a full eighty?


In round 1 these two sides met in Ben Barba’s first match against his former club,  a game taken out by the Broncos 18-12.  This time I think the Bulldogs will be ready for the battle and will upset the Broncos on home soil by ten points.  Something worries me about the Broncos current headspace with the departure of Anthony Griffin at season’s end.

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