2023 NRL Preview Round 5: Broncos Vs Tigers

Lachlan Jeffery previews Saturday night’s clash between the Brisbane Broncos and Wests Tigers



Brisbane Broncos Vs Wests Tigers
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Date: Saturday April 1, 7:35pm


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

Tigers: 1. Adam Doueihi 2. Charlie Staines 3. Brent Naden 4. Asu Kepaoa 5. Junior Tupou 6. Brandon Wakeham 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. David Klemmer 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. John Bateman 13. Fonua Pole 14. Jake Simpkin 15. Alex Twal 16. Justin Matamua 17. Starford To’a 18. Shawn Blore 19. Joe Ofahengaue 20. Tukimihia Simpkins 21. Daine Laurie 22. Alex Seyfarth

Referee: Chris Sutton

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It may only be Round 5 but this is already shaping up as a David and Goliath battle. The Broncos are the last remaining undefeated team in the premiership, while the Tigers are the last team remaining winless.

Kevin Walters has named the exact same 17 for the third consecutive week as the Broncos look to maintain their perfect start to the season.

For the Tigers, Alex Twal is the only person to retain their spot on the bench, with Daine Laurie, Shawn Blore, and Alex Seyfarth all being dropped in favour of Jake Simpkin, Justin Matamua, and Starford To’a. The starting 13 remains the same as it was for their loss to the Storm in Round 4.

The Broncos were in control for most of last week’s game against the Dolphins, despite only wrapping up victory through Kotoni Staggs’ 100 metre try in the dying minutes. The form and flair of Staggs, Reece Walsh, and Payne Haas have resulted in the Broncos becoming one of the best teams to watch, sitting second in terms of points scored (99). While it hasn’t received as many plaudits, their defence has also been a key part of their success, ranking equal second with an average of 14.5 points conceded per game.

It’s a vastly different story for Wests, with Apisai Koroisau and John Batemen the only two players providing the majority of their spark in attack and defence as Tim Sheens continues to chop and change his squad to find results. Their average 14 points scored ranks as the lowest in the NRL, while they sit 13th defensively, conceding 21.5 points per game.

While the Broncos are red-hot favourites, they will remember the upset loss they suffered to the Tigers in their most recent meeting last year, which kickstarted the losing run that ultimately cost them a spot in the finals. A win in this match will see the Broncos start a season 5-0 for the first time since 1998, while a Tigers loss will see them become the first club since Newtown in 1968-69 to start consecutive seasons with five straight losses.


Broncos 5, Tigers 5


Broncos by 18 points.

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