Nathan Smith previews the Thursday night encounter between the Broncos and Eels. Here’s what we have to look forward to…
Brisbane Broncos Vs Parramatta Eels
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Thursday 25th August, 7:50pm (local)
MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS
Related: NRL Team List TuesdayEmbed from Getty Images
Broncos: 1. Te Maire Martin 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Brenko Lee 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Thomas Flegler 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Ryan James 14. Billy Walters 15. Kobe Hetherington 16. Corey Jensen 17. Rhys Kennedy 18. Delouise Hoeter 19. Jordan Pereira 20. Tyson Gamble 21. Keenan Palasia 22. Zac Hosking
The only change sees Brenko Lee return to centre from a hamstring injury. Kurt Capewell is named despite suffering a minor ankle concern last week.Embed from Getty Images
Eels: 1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Viliami Penisini 4. Tom Opacic 5. Waqa Blake 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Jakob Arthur 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Marata Niukore 18. Ofahiki Ogden 19. Bailey Simonsson 20. Bryce Cartwright 21. Sean Russell 22. Ky Rodwell
Makahesi Makatoa and Jake Arthur come onto the bench for Bryce Cartwright and Ofahiki Ogden. Otherwise, the side reads the same as it did last week.
Referee: Grant Atkins
It’s a funny game, rugby league. When these two teams last met, it was for a spot in the top four. It was billed as a game that would decide who would contend for the upper half of the eight and who would be resigned to the lower half.
Fast forward a few weeks, and the Eels are now again within a whisker of the top four, while the Broncos are languishing at eighth and face the very real prospect of losing their ticket to the finals.
Last week, the Broncos suffered a humiliating 60-12 loss at the hands of the resurgent Melbourne Storm. It was the type of result that their fans might have hoped was well behind them. The reality is this; should the Broncos lose their next two games, they’re every chance of falling out of finals contention altogether. It would be a disappointing result for what has otherwise been a more consistent year than those passed.
The Eels maintained their habit of bouncing back from a loss with a commanding 42-6 win over the Bulldogs. It was a match where they needed to make a thorough statement after being held to nil by the Rabbitohs, and they delivered. Now guaranteed a finals spot, they can give themselves every chance of pushing for a top four spot by defeating the Broncos this week. If results don’t fall their way and they finish 5th or 6th, it’s still important that they demonstrate they can finally string wins together if they want to be any hope of doing so in September.
It’ll be a dry track so you can expect both sides to exhibit plenty in attack. Their respective wingers, Corey Oates and Maika Sivo, are averaging one try per game and are odds on to bag a couple for their teams. Furthermore, the halfbacks Adam Reynolds and Mitchell Moses have set up 41 tries between them, with Moses slightly leading the try assists with 22 to Reynolds’ 19. Given that stat, the quality of involvement between these two is undoubtedly going to be a deciding factor on who wins.Embed from Getty Images
- Adam Reynolds will play his 250th game.
- Brisbane Broncos broke a three-year losing streak against the Eels earlier this year.
- They have a fairly even record at Suncorp, with 13 wins to 9 in favour of the Broncos.
Parramatta Eels 1-12
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