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2021 NRL Round 13 Preview, Dragons Vs Broncos

Craig Cauchi previews Thursday nights contest between Dragons and Broncos. This is what we have to look forward to.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Date: 3/6, Time: 7:50pm

Dragons Team

1. Matthew Dufty
2. Cody Ramsey
3. Brayden Wiliame
4. Gerard Beale
5. Mikaele Ravalawa
6. Corey Norman
7. Ben Hunt
8. Blake Lawrie
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Paul Vaughan
11. Josh Kerr
12. Jack Bird
13. Jackson Ford
14. Talatau Amone
15. Poasa Faamausili
16. Daniel Alvaro
17. Jack De Belin
18. Kaide Ellis
19. Adam Clune
20. Jayden Sullivan
21. Jordan Pereira

Team Changes

IN: Adam Clune, Jack De Belin, Jayden Sullivan, Josh Kerr, Matthew Dufty, Mikaele Ravalawa
OUT: Billy Burns, Jaiyden Hunt, Tariq Sims

Broncos Team

1. Jamayne Isaako
2. Selwyn Cobbo
3. Herbie Farnworth
4. Jesse Arthars
5. David Mead
6. Albert Kelly
7. Tyson Gamble
8. Matthew Lodge
9. Jake Turpin
10. Thomas Flegler
11. Alex Glenn
12. Tevita Pangai Junior
13. John Asiata
14. Kobe Hertherington
15. Keenan Palasia
16. Ethan Bullemor
17. TC Robati
18. Jordan Riki
19. Tesi Niu
20. Dale Copley
21. Cory Paix

Team Changes

IN: Alex Glenn, Cory Paix, Jordan Riki, Matthew Lodge, Tesi Niu, Tyson Gamble
OUT: Anthony Milford, Payne Haas, Xavier Coates

Referee: Matt Cecchin

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Dragons

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Tariq Sims is called up for State of Origin duty. Josh Kerr and Mikaele Ravalawa return from suspension and Matt Dufty is named to return from his shoulder injury. Jack de Belin is named on the bench in what shapes as his first appearance in over two years. Jack Bird is moved into the second row in place of Billy Burns who is omitted. This team is looking to end a three match losing run.

Broncos

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Matthew Lodge is back in the starting side for Payne Haas (Origin). Tyson Gamble returns to partner Albert Kelly in the halves. Broncos skipper Alex Glenn returns from a calf injury in a boost to an inexperienced side. Xavier Coates is named in the Queensland side leaving room for Selwyn Cobbo to make his NRL debut. Broncos look to bounce back after a big loss to Storm.

PREVIEW

Broncos have an inexperienced bench but have an impressive back line with enough speed to trouble their opposition. Dragons defence was leaky last week and if Broncos starting forward pack can take it to them early it will provide plenty of space for the back line to attack. Matt Lodge’s return from suspension is timely with front row enforcer Payne Hass unavailable. Lodge needs a game of over 200 running metres and needs to apply his aggression with a calm head. The same goes for Tevita Pangai Junior, who put in a big effort to help Broncos overcome Roosters. If they produce a similar effort they could blow this under strength Dragons team away.

Disappointment is a common theme across Dragons recent performances. They should have beaten Sharks and their forward pack were out muscled against Tigers. The forwards need to take this one personally after only one forward cracked 100 running metres. The team can come up with the points when needed but only off the back of domination through the middle. Blake Lawrie played with high energy at the start of the year but since returning from injury his aggression has waned. Dragons have been particularly poor at home and need to respond against a side struggling for consistency.

KEY STAT

Both sides have been poor across a seven game stretch. Dragons have one victory during this period while Broncos have two. Ben Hunt is on a four match winning streak against his former club and is yet to lose to them.

PREDICTION

Dragons by 2

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