Brisbane Broncos Vs Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium, Thursday 7.50pm
Brisbane chase top 4 against tricky Eastern Suburbs
The Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters do battle in the final Thursday night football game of 2016. This match has a fair bit of weight riding on it as the Broncos could rise to as high as 4th with a win and if results go their way but could also slip to as low as 7th with a loss (if Penrith win and make up 40 differential points). That said, the Broncos have been in good form over the past month after having the wobbles earlier on. Wayne Bennett has them re focused and aiming towards a common goal. Their goal line defence and line speed last week against Melbourne last week shows the improvement they have made. Regardless of where Brisbane finish in the table, they are going to be dangerous.
The Roosters would like to finish 2016 with a bang after a much improved second half of the season. They were caught in the middle of a shark tidal wave last week in a match where they didn’t actually play that bad. Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Coydner and Blake Ferguson have been great leaders for this young team and they will be expected to lead from the front again and propel the tri colours to an upset victory. This is their grand final.
They are well set for next year and have shown lots of character in a tough season.
Last Meeting: Sydney Roosters 32 Defeated Brisbane Broncos 16 at Allianz Stadium: Round 21, 2016
The tri colours got an upset victory only 5 weeks ago which was right in the middle of the Broncos lean stretch.
Brisbane have only won 2 of the last 6 games against the Roosters as well as losing 2 of the last 3 at Suncorp Stadium against them.
The Roosters have a formidable 6-6 record at Suncorp Stadium, but it was the scene of their 2015 premiership demise in the preliminary final last year.
Who to watch: Brisbane are blessed to have speed, elusiveness and strength in their backline and towering winger Corey Oates has all 3! After having a breakout year in 2015, Oates has blossomed into a quality winger. His speed for a big man when in space is captivating to watch and his strength on the ball is incredible. He does have his deficiencies under the high ball but there is no doubt that is being worked on. Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford should be planning to kick to his corner where he is a beast in the air or to provide him with space and time to display his talent. Season 2016 has been incredible for Oates: 15 tries in 19 games, 19 line breaks, 1 try assist, 2469 running metres at an average of 129 a game!
Can he add a premiership medal to his impressive career?
The Roosters will be reliant on Blake Ferguson’s involvement from the back. The NSW representative has been in great form over the past month and has transitioned into the fullback position nicely.
Last week against Cronulla he looked like he had spiders in him as he slipped through countless tackles and created chances for his outside backs. He is most dangerous when given broken field play, so look out if the Broncos are lazy with their defensive line.
The favourite: the in form Brisbane side are favourites in this match
My Tip: Brisbane to continue their good form and momentum into the finals with a comprehensive win at home. The Roosters will find it a harsh environment to come into and think they’ll struggle to play at the standard that Brisbane will be at.
Brisbane by 14