Joshua Knox previews the Queensland derby between the Cowboys and the Broncos on Saturday night.Embed from Getty Images
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Date: 8th May 2021, Time: 7:35pm
IN: Jake Clifford, Kane Bradley, Mitchell Dunn, Peter Hola, Tom Gilbert
OUT: Ben Hampton, Justin O’Neill
- Jamayne Isaako
12.Tevita Pangai Jr
IN: Brendan Piakura, Dale Copley, Tesi Niu
Referee: Chris Sutton
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
CowboysEmbed from Getty Images
The Cowboys rallied late in round eight after finding themselves down 24-4 in the second half against the Warriors. Ultimately they fell short, suffering a 24-20 defeat, bringing them back down to earth and ending a three-game winning streak. Valentine Holmes continued his hot form at fullback, chiming in with a number of nice touches in the second half.
The Cowboys are forced to make two changes with Justin O’Neill and Ben Hampton both missing out due to injuries. Jake Clifford is recalled in the halfback position with Javid Bowen slotting into the centres.
BroncosEmbed from Getty Images
Broncos fans rejoice! Brisbane have finally recorded their second victory of the season, coming off a 36-28 win over the Gold Coast Titans. What is more impressive is the fact that the Titans raced out to a 22-0 lead early in the first half before Brisbane stormed home to score 36 straight points. The Broncos took a gamble dropping both halves following a big loss to Parramatta in round seven, allowing Anthony Milford and Tyson Gamble to combine in the halves.
The Broncos remain unchanged following their victory in round eight, which is a luxury for Kevin Walters who has chopped and changed his lineup more than any other coach so far this season. The Broncos will be coming out and playing with more confidence then fans have seen so far this season.
This shapes as an interesting clash with the top eight well and truly in reach for both teams despite both sitting with a poor record through eight rounds. The Titans currently occupy the eighth position with a 3-5 record, the same as the Cowboys who ultimately find themselves in 12th due to a -91 points differential.
The Broncos found an unlikely hero in their latest win with Gamble bringing the enthusiasm into a team who have lacked it all season. What would excite the Broncos fans even more is the performance of fullback Jamayne Isaako, who had arguably his best performance of the season, having a hand in almost all of the Broncos tries.
It will be a battle of the middle with some mouth-watering clashes including Payne Haas and Tevita Pangai Jr up against Jordan McLean and Jason Taumalolo. It seems silly to say but this one will be a win for whichever team decides to show up to play on Saturday as both teams can ill afford to dish up repeat performances like those in the first half last week.
The two teams shared the choccies in 2020, with the Broncos edging a 28-21 victory to open the season before the Cowboys returned serve in the last round of the season to deliver the wooden spoon to their big brother. Kyle Feldt has scored four tries in the last two games against the Broncos: expect him to cross the line again on Saturday night.
The Broncos will come in with confidence and roll over the top of the Cowboys.
Broncos by 10.