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2021 NRL Round Eight Preview, Broncos Vs Titans

Todd Warren previews the latest QLD derby when the Broncos take on the Titans at Suncorp Stadium.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Date: Friday April 30, Time: 7:55pm

Broncos Team

1. Jamayne Isaako
2. Xavier Coates
3. Jesse Arthars
4. Herbie Farnworth
5. Corey Oates
6. Anthony Milford
7. Tyler Gamble
8. Matt Lodge
9. Jake Turpin
10. Payne Haas
11. Jordan Riki
12. Tevita Pangai Junior
13. Pat Carrigan (c)
14. Danny Levi
15. Thomas Flegler
16. Ethan Bullemor
17. Rhys Kennedy
18. Tesi Niu
19. John Asiata
20. David Mead
21. Brodie Croft

Team Changes

IN: Anthony Milford
OUT: Tom Dearden

Titans Team

1. AJ Brimson
2. Anthony Don
3. Brian Kelly
4. Phillip Sami
5. Corey Thompson
6. Ash Taylor
7. Jamal Fogarty (c)
8. Jarrod Wallace
9. Mitch Rein
10. Moeaki Fotuaika
11. Kevin Proctor
12. David Fifita
13. Tyrone Peachey
14. Erin Clark
15. Jaimin Jolliffe
16. Herman Ese’ese
17. Sam McIntyre
18. Beau Fermor
19. Tanah Boyd
20. Jai Whitbread
21. Darius Farmer

Team Changes

IN: Anthony Don, Herman Ese’ese
OUT:
Patrick Herbert, Sam Lisone

Referee: Adam Gee

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Broncos

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There’s big changes for the Broncos. Kevvie has changed his halves again, obviously unhappy with his side sitting second last and one win from seven starts. Anthony Milford is back in and will join Tyler Gamble in the halves, with Brodie Croft in jersey 21 and Tom Dearden dropped after signing with the Cowboys.

After a good showing against the Panthers in round six, a lot of us (myself included) thought the Broncos might be starting to turn it around, but they were awful again last week as Parramatta blew them off the park in a 46-6 victory. Not a whole lot of positives to talk about, but Tevita Pangai Junior was great again and has been solid all season now that he has improved his discipline a bit.

Titans

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Not too many major changes for the Titans, with the main news that Herman Ese’ese has been named to make his Titans debut off the bench in what will be a big boost for the Gold Coast. After a very disappointing performance against Manly two weeks ago, many expected the worst as they shaped up against Souths last week. But they looked like a different team as they gave one of the competition heavyweights a tough contest, before ultimately losing 40-30 in an entertaining game. David Fifita was on fire as he crossed for a first half hat-trick and the Titans were on top at half-time, but couldn’t get any momentum after the break and seemed to barely touch the ball. Souths were too strong in the end, but there were a few positives for the Titans. It’s frustrating how inconsistent they are though so who knows how they will go this week.

PREVIEW

David Fifita scored two tries in his first game against his old team back in round two, which would have been quite upsetting to the Broncos’ recruitment, as well as their fans. Terrifyingly, he has only become more explosive since then and has scored two hat-tricks in that time. He is second in the comp for tackle busts and second for tries scored in 2021. He is on fire and the Broncos are going to have him at the top of their tip sheet this week.

A big concern for Brisbane is their halves combination changing yet again, with Anthony Milford recalled to partner Tyson Gamble after Brodie Croft was moved to the extended bench and Tom Dearden dropped out of the 21 altogether after announcing he has signed with the Cowboys.

KEY STAT

The Titans have won the last three games against the Broncos and have won four of the last five.

Since the Broncos beat the Bulldogs in round three, they have lost all four games and have not scored any points in the second half of those games. They have been garbage in second halves all year, only scoring points after the break in the Bulldogs game, and 12 points against the Titans. Every other point in 2021 has come in the first half.

PREDICTION

It’s hard to back the Broncos here despite how inconsistent the Titans have been. 

Titans by 12.

 

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