NRL Round 26 - Thursday Night Preview

NRL Round 26 - Thursday Night Preview

Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters @ Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos go in search a 5th straight win to end the regular season when they take on the Roosters on Thursday Night at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos need a win and an unlikely Cowboys to claim a Top 4 spot, with 5th spot looking their most likely destination. A loss would have big consequences for the Broncos as they could fall as low at 7th on the ladder. The Roosters have been out of contention for the past 6 weeks and despite registering a few good wins they were lapped by Cronulla 37-12 last week at Shark Park. 

The Broncos name an unchanged team for the 5th week running. It is the last regular season home game for Corey Parker and the Broncos faithful will be out in force to see out a club legend. The sides last loss came against the Roosters n 21 as they put in an awful defensive display is going down 32-16 at the Sydney Football Stadium. The sides return to winning ways coincided with Anthony Milford's return to form in the past month. Milford has averaged a remarkable 143 run meters per game in the Broncos last 4 wins and has 5 try assists

The Roosters lose Boyd Cordner and Sio Siau Taukeiaho for their final game of the season. Ryan Matterson and Issac Liu win starting roles in the forward pack while Mitchell Frei and Nat Butcher take their place on the bench. Dale Copley will be out for another big game against his former club after running in a double in the Roosters win in Round 21. It has been a nightmare season for the Roosters after 3 straight Minor Premierships with the club assured of a bottom 4 finish. 

Verdict - Hard to see the Roosters lifting for this occasion or matching the desperation or intensity of Brisbane. The Broncos have been able name an unchanged side for over a month and the benefits have been clear. I expect this game to be quite open and high scoring given the Roosters have nothing to lose. After a high quality start I can see the Roosters getting swamped in the second half as their thoughts turn to mad Monday. Broncos by 20.