2024 NRL: Round 18 Preview, Broncos Vs Panthers

Check out the match preview and prediction for the round 18 clash between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers.



Brisbane Broncos Vs Penrith Panthers
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Date: Friday 5 July, 8:00pm AEST


Broncos: 1. Reece Walsh, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Deine Mariner, 4. Selwyn Cobbo, 5. Jesse Arthars, 6. Ezra Mam, 7. Jock Madden, 8. Corey Jensen, 9. Billy Walters, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Brendan Piakura, 12. Kobe Hetherington, 13. Patrick Carrigan, 14. Tyson Smoothy, 15. Xavier Willison, 16. Josiah Karapani, 17. Martin Taupau, 18. Tristan Sailor, 19. Joshua Rogers, 20. Cory Paix, 21. Blake Mozer, 22. Kotoni Staggs

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards, 2. Sunia Turuva, 3. Izack Tago, 4. Paul Alamoti, 5. Brian To’o, 6. Jack Cole, 7. Jarome Luai, 8. Moses Leota, 9. Mitch Kenny, 10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Scott Sorensen, 12. Liam Martin, 13. Isaah Yeo, 14. Daine Laurie, 15. Lindsay Smith, 16. Liam Henry, 17. Matt Eisenhuth, 18. Brad Schneider, 19. Luron Patea, 20. Trent Toelau, 21. Casey McLean, 22. Luke Sommerton

Referee: Grant Atkins

Embed from Getty Images


On Friday night the Broncos return home to Suncorp Stadium, looking to end a four-game losing streak. They take on a Panthers side who slumped to a disappointing home loss against the Cowboys last week, so the stage is set for a blockbuster.

For the Broncos, the Origin troops are back on deck: with Reece Walsh, Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas all named to return after being rested last week. Kotoni Staggs is unavailable due to personal reasons, which sees Deine Mariner shift to centre and Corey Oates return on the wing. Jack Gosiewski and Fletcher Baker drop out of the 17 after picking up injuries last week.

The Origin period has begun to take its toll on the Broncos, with their losing streak dropping them outside the top eight. They’ve had two byes in that period, which hasn’t helped with finding consistency in their form. With their Origin stars back and well rested, they should be back to their best at home. A tough task awaits however, with the Panthers boasting the best defence in the competition. If the Broncos are going to rattle the premiers, it’ll need to come off the back of second phase play and the speed of Walsh and Ezra Mam, much like we saw in the grand final last year.

For the Panthers, they also welcome back their Origin contingent: with Jarome Luai, Dylan Edwards, Brian To’o, and Liam Martin all named after being rested last week. Isaah Yeo returns to the starting lock role after coming off the bench last week, which moves Matt Eisenhuth back to the bench. Daine Laurie and Liam Henry also move from the starting side back to the bench.

After a surprising defeat at the hands of an understrength Cowboys last week, the Panthers are now four points behind the Storm in the race for the minor premiership. After he referred to the performance as “making a cake without icing”, Ivan Cleary will be pleased to see the icing back in full force, with all his Origin stars back in the lineup. It can’t be understated how much the combo of Edwards and To’o will add to this side’s yardage out of the backfield, which will be crucial at Suncorp. Despite facing a hostile crowd this week, the Panthers will be confident of getting the job done, as they have won seven of their past eight games against the Broncos (including last year’s grand final).

Head-to-head stats can be found at Number Crunch Stats.


Check out all the NRL Predictions here.

Panthers by 4 points.

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