2022 NRL Round 7 Preview, Broncos Vs Bulldogs

Andrew Pelechaty previews the Friday night clash at Suncorp Stadium…



Brisbane Broncos Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Friday April 22, 7:55pm


Related: NRL Team List Tuesday

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Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Tyson Gamble 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Cory Paix 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Kobe Hetherington 14. Billy Walters 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Keenan Palasia 18. Delouise Hoeter 19. Jordan Pereira 20. TC Robati 21. Brenko Lee 22. Ezra Mam 23. Ethan Quai-Ward 24. Logan Bayliss-Brow

While Brisbane lost their fourth straight game on Good Friday night, they competed against the almost-unbeatable Penrith. Brisbane only trailed 12-6 (with Tesi Niu scoring the game’s first try) after 50 minutes, then the Panthers scored three tries in seven minutes to put the game away. Kotoni Staggs scored with 16 minutes left to give Brisbane a slight sniff, but the ruthless Panthers scored two more tries, though the 40-12 margin didn’t reflect Brisbane’s effort. Adam Reynolds enjoyed his kicking duel with last year’s grand final foe Nathan Cleary, with 642 kicking metres and two goals.

There’s quite a few changes for the Broncos on Team List Tuesday: Tesi Niu’s injury allows Te Maire Martin to play his first NRL game since April 2019. Herbie Farnworth is back in the centres and Tyson Gamble is the new five-eighth. Billy Walters is on the bench. Payne Haas returns from his one-game ban and Cory Paix is the new hooker. Thomas Flegler is on the bench (returning from suspension) and Ryan James drops out.

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Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Brent Naden 3. Aaron Schoupp 4. Jake Averillo 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Kyle Flanagan 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Corey Waddell 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson 14. Brandon Wakeham 15. Joe Stimson 16. Max King 17. Ava Seumanufagai 19. Bailey Biondi-Odo 20. Jackson Topine 21. Reece Hoffman 22. Jayden Okunbor 23. Corey Allan 24. Josh Cook 25. Tuipulotu Katoa

The Bulldogs have fallen away after winning their first game, losing five games in a row since, and are last again after the Wests Tigers’ Easter Monday win over Parramatta. While they scored the first try (Brent Naden) in the traditional Good Friday game against South Sydney, the Rabbitohs raced away through a Damien Cook hat-trick and a double to Alex Johnston. Josh Addo-Carr (his first try for his new club) and Jeremy Marshall-King scored consolation tries as the Dogs lost 36-16.

Worryingly, the Bulldogs have only scored 56 points in six games (9.33 points/game) with a -89 differential. Even more worryingly, the 16 points against Souths was their highest score of the season so far.

Braidon Burns and Chris Patolo are unavailable with a hamstring and a head knock respectively. Aaron Schoupp comes into the centres and Corey Waddell joins the pack.  

Referee: Ben Cummins


While this is a battle of 14th v 15th, it could still be an interesting game. Their round two clash at Homebush was close, with Herbie Farnworth’s second half double giving Brisbane a 16-10 win.

On effort alone, Brisbane are favourites: while they’ve had a tough last fortnight against the Sydney Roosters and Penrith, they pushed Easts all the way at Lang Park and were in the contest against Penrith. While Brisbane probably won’t challenge for the finals yet, they’ve got plenty of heart (but Football in the Groin had a football in the groin) and have already shown they can push the top teams. The Broncos probably beat 11 or 12 other sides with their performances against the Roosters and Panthers. If Brisbane can replicate this effort against Canterbury, then they should win comfortably, especially if Reynolds continues his fine kicking game from Good Friday. The big issue is if the Broncos will “play down” to their opponents or struggle with the drop in intensity from the Roosters/Panthers games.

As for the Dogs, they’ve fallen into a familiar hole, losing heavily to Melbourne, Penrith, and Souths (by a combined 112-28). For all of the Dogs’ lavish spending, it’s going to take time for the new players to find their combinations, not to mention the mounting pressure that Trent Barrett is under. They lost all three games at Lang Park last year, to Brisbane, Canberra (Magic Round), and the Gold Coast.

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Like Oasis and Blur, Brisbane and Canterbury had a big rivalry through the 90s: from 1992 to 1998, the Broncos and/or Bulldogs featured in six grand finals – three for Brisbane (1992, 1993, 1997 Super League), two for the Bulldogs (1994, 1995), and they met each other in the 1998 NRL Grand Final. Brisbane won 38-12, scoring seven tries (Kevin Campion, Tonie Carroll, Michael De Vere, Phillip Lee, Wendell Sailor, Darren Smith, Gorden Tallis).


Brisbane by 12.

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