Matt Attard previews the Saturday evening clash between the Broncos and the Bulldogs. This is what we have to look forward to.
Well … this could be the battle of the wooden spoon between two sides who are similar yet different. Many would argue the Broncos haven’t given enough to their coach, fans or themselves with the effort they’ve displayed during a long losing streak.
The Bulldogs have never been faulted for their passion, energy and hunger to succeed, but simply aren’t good enough to notch up a win, claiming only one victory to sit on the bottom of the ladder – just behind their opponents.
1. Tesi Niu 2. Jamayne Isaako 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Darius Boyd 5. Xavier Coates 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Tevita Pangai Junior 9. Issac Luke 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Corey Oates 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Tom Dearden 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Rhys Kennedy 17. Ben Te’o 18. Cory Paix 19. Jamil Hopoate 20. Kotoni Staggs 21. Matthew Lodge.
1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Christian Crichton 6. Kieran Foran 7. Brandon Wakeham 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Luke Thompson 14. Kerrod Holland 15. Dean Britt 16. Renouf To’omaga 17. Sauaso Sue 19. Ofahiki Ogden 20. Jack Cogger 21. Sione Katoa 22. Lachlan Lewis.
Both teams have an abysmal for-and-against. The Broncos have scored 108 points and conceded 235, while the Bulldogs have scored only 86 points and have conceded 188.
Their completion rates are almost identical (74 per cent and 75 per cent) while the home side averages less missed tackles than their opponents (29 to 34) but concede an average of eight penalties in the competition (an NRL high).
BATTLE TO WATCH
Luke Thompson v Payne Haas
Although new recruit Luke Thompson has been named in the number 13, expect him to play as a third prop as many modern day locks do. He will be out to prove he can live up to the title of world’s best forward (as Sam Burgess and Justin Holbrook have dubbed him in the past).
On the other side of the field is Payne Haas, arguably the best prop in the competition despite being a rookie. Both men will be passionate about securing a win for their team by leading from the front.
Before Will Hopoate was injured I would have tipped a Bulldogs win by 13+. Since his injury the side looks like it’s lacking something. The Broncos are no better, with an under-performing halves combination desperate for a win. This could go either way.
Bulldogs by two.
Date: Saturday July 11.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium.