Matt Attard previews Brisbane Broncos v Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Broncos have the home ground advantage once more as they come off the back of an epic 90-minute draw. Payne Haas continues to dominate up front, leading the way for a team who hasn’t been able to gain any momentum.
Dean Pay’s men are hot on the tail of a three-win streak after the young team disposed of the Newcastle Knights in controversial fashion last round. They are low on troops but high on confidence after climbing off the bottom of the ladder.
Darius Boyd remains at five-eighth while Anthony Milford gets his chance to cement his place in the number one jersey. He ran for more than 200 metres last week against the Warriors.
Brisbane Broncos squad: 1. Anthony Milford 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Jamayne Isaako 6.Darius Boyd 7. Jake Turpin 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai 13. Thomas Flegler 14. James Segeyaro 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16.David Fifita 17. Patty Carrigan 18. Rhys Kennedy 21. Keenan Palasia.
Injuries to experienced props Aiden Tolman and Sauaso Sue means rising star Orahiki Ogden is elevated to the starting lineup.
Canterbury Bulldogs squad: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Marcelo Montoya 4. Will Hopoate 5. Reimis Smith 6. Brandon Wakeham 7. Jack Cogger 8. Ofahiki Ogden 9. Michael Lichaa 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Adam Elliott 14. Jeremy Marshall-King 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Danny Fualalo 17. Chris Smith 19. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 21.Kerrod Holland.
HEAD TO HEAD
These two sides meet for the first time in 2019, with their battle last year resulting in a big win to the Bulldogs. They secured a 36-22 win at ANZ Stadium, however both teams are vastly different to this time last year. Historically these clashes have always been played out in the forwards and this should be no different, with two young and raw packs ready to rip and tear at each other.
Jack Cogger and Jake Turpin could well be teammates next year with Turpin tipped to sign a deal with the Bulldogs for 2020. But on Thursday night they will each don the number seven jersey as they look to guide their team to victory.
Cogger has come on in leaps and bounds for the blue and whites, showcasing his game management to help steer the Bulldogs to their last two wins. He has set up two tries and scored two from 12 appearances, kicking 145 times averaging 30 metres per kick, proving he is more suited to the short game in attacking territory.
Turpin has likewise been impressive, picking up a load of responsibility. In eight games he has also set up two tries and scored two himself, while his tackle efficiency is sitting at an excellent 95 per cent (245 from 258)
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Thursday July 18, 2019
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins, Belinda Sharpe
WHO WILL WIN?
Don’t be fooled by the Bulldogs two-win streak. Yes, they’ve shown a hell of a lot of heart to win their last two, but they also had a lot of luck. They played some of the most frustrating, dumb football in the first half last week, and a week before Cronulla’s amazing error count was a blessing. The Broncos, led by Haas and Pangai-Junior, plus Milford at the back with free reign, will be very hard to handle on home turf.
And lastly, it’s great to see Belinda Sharpe given the go ahead as the first female referee. Best of luck to her.
Tip: Brisbane Broncos by 16.