Date: Friday 5th of June 2015
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Home Team Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd 2 Jordan Kahu 3 Jack Reed 4 Justin Hodges 5 Daniel Vidot 6 Anthony Milford 7 Ben Hunt 8 Josh McGuire 9 Andrew McCullough 10 Adam Blair 11 Alex Glenn 12 Matt Gillett 13 Sam Thaiday. Interchange: 14 Jarrod Wallace 17 Francis Molo 16 Corey Oates 17 Matt Parcell
Away Team Sea Eagles: 1 Brett Stewart 2 Jorge Taufua 3 Peta Hiku 4 Steve Matai 5 Tom Trbojevic 6 Jamie Lyon 7 Kieran Foran 8 Luke Burgess 9 Matt Ballin 10 Willie Mason 11 Blake Leary 12 Justin Horo 13 Dunamis Lui 14 Tom Symonds15 Jake Trbojevic 16 Feleti Mateo 17 Ligi Sao 18 James Hasson.
On paper, Fridays clash between the second placed Broncos and last placed Sea Eagles should see the Brisbane side continue their winning ways comfortably. However, the contest could be closer than anticipated, as Manly have been extremely unlucky to not claim victory in their past two games.
The Sea Eagles had victory in the bag against the in-form Cowboys last round, however some last minute brilliance from the North Queensland side saw the win snatched from them. The story was almost the exact same in round 11, as a field goal in the last 10 minutes of the match from Matt Moylan resulted in a narrow Manly loss.
Despite being without halfback Daly Cherry-Evans for the clash against the Cowboys, Manly were valiant in defeat, and restricted one of the best attacking sides in the league to just three tries. That defence will be needed in Brisbane on Friday night, as the Broncos attack has been superb on the back of halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt.
The two played a big role in what will most likely go down as the try of the year against the Raiders, and it is their attacking brilliance as of late that is helping the Broncos retain their spot in the top four. Hunt was especially impressive against Canberra, as he assisted in two tries and three line-breaks. Milford is starting to show a glimpse of his brilliance that has had him touted as a future star, as he made an impressive six tackle busts against his former club.
The Broncos will be preparing for the clash as if Daly Cherry-Evans will be a late inclusion to the Manly side, and the Sea Eagles will be hoping that the man known as DCE, who has just disgracefully announced that he will be staying at the Sea Eagles, will return to give them a much needed boost against the in-form Broncos. The Broncos are also expected to be graced with the return of Origin duo Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday, who failed to back up last round from Queensland’s victory.
The last time the two sides met, which was in round 21 of the 2014 season, Manly were victorious 16-4 at Brookvale oval. The Broncos have the upper-hand at their home ground though, as they defeated Manly convincingly 36-10 the last time the two teams played at Suncorp Stadium.
The Broncos will be without Origin star Corey Parker for this clash, however his QLD team mate Sam Thaiday will return to the side in his lock position. Feleti Mateo has returned from an ankle injury to earn a place on the bench, with James Hasson being forced out of the side.
Manly will be looking to get a much-needed win, however the in-form Brisbane side should be too strong.
Prediction Broncos by 10