2023 NRL Preview Round 3: Broncos Vs Dragons

Two of the NRL’s four undefeated teams clash Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium. The Dragons and Broncos share a long history of classic matches dating back to the grand finals of the early 90’s and this one shapes as a surprise contest for fans.

MATCHDAY NEWS

MATCHDAY SCHEDULE

Brisbane Broncos Vs St George-Illawarra Dragons
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Date: Saturday March 18, 7:35pm

MATCHDAY TEAM NEWS

Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan 14. Cory Paix 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Thomas Flegler 17. Martin Taupau 18. Deine Mariner 19. Brendan Piakura 20. Xavier Willison 21. Jock Madden 22. Delouise Hoeter

Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Mathew Feagai 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Jayden Sullivan 7. Ben Hunt 8. Francis Molo 9. Moses Mbye 10. Blake Lawrie 11. Ben Murdoch-Masila 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack Bird 14. Jacob Liddle 15. Zane Musgrove 16. Toby Couchman 17. Josh Kerr 18. Michael Molo 19. Max Feagai 20. Jaiyden Hunt 21. Talatau Amone 22. Aaron Woods

Referee: Peter Gough

Embed from Getty Images

MATCHDAY PREVIEW

Two undefeated teams will go head-to-head with the Brisbane Broncos hosting the St. George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night. After upsetting the Panthers on the road in Round 1, the Broncos returned home for a huge Queensland derby, coming from behind to beat the Cowboys 28-16 in a strong win.

Reece Walsh was the star for his new club in his first game in a Broncos jersey registering a try, a line break, a try assist and three line break assists in an attacking blitzkrieg. He is a huge danger man for the Dragons in this matchup.

Ezra Mam also chimed in with two tries and has started the season in red hot form taking much of the pressure off veteran half Adam Reynolds.

The Broncos forward pack was once again led by Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas who combined for over 325 hit-up metres to lay the platform for the spine. It’s on that note that the Broncos have received a big challenge for this matchup with Carrigan fighting the clock to be fit. He looms as a late out and without him the rest of the Broncos forwards will really need to lift.

St. George Illawarra fans had to be patient to see their club in action in 2023 after a round 1 bye, but it was worth the wait as the Dragons romped home for a dominant 32-18 win over the Titans in the final match of Round 2.

The score line somewhat flattered the Titans with the Dragons putting on five tries between the 32nd and 66th minute before the Titans grabbed a consolation try which shortened the margin near the death.

The Dragons attack looks much more impressive than expected, with nine line breaks in round 2 and star attacking weapons like Ravalawa and Sloan shining whilst Ben Hunt orchestrated the attack brilliantly as always. The ex-Bronco will be the key man for the Dragons, always relishing the opportunity to return to Suncorp, Hunt looks primed for a big game against his old club starting the season in the form that saw him leading the Dally M’s in 2022 for several weeks.

The Dragons have won six of their last seven against the Broncos but have lost five straight at Suncorp. They will head in with an unchanged 17 while the Broncos have replaced the injured Corey Oates with Jesse Arthars on the wing and likely have Carrigan as a late omission.

The Dragons attack could trouble the Broncos however they will need to steel their defensive line if they are to come away with an impressive victory to keep their season undefeated.

The Broncos loom as a far bigger test than their Queensland neighbours, the Titans, but it could be a much tighter affair than many fans expect as well.

LAST TEN MATCHES

Dragons 6, Broncos 4.

MATCHDAY PREDICTION

Broncos by 8 points.

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