Brisbane were soundly beaten in the opening round by St George as the Dragons came out on top 34-12 with the Broncos missing 35 tackles in the process.
Wayne Bennett must do without the suspended Jaydn Su’a this week with Tom Opacic taking his place on the interchange bench.
The stats from their opening game don’t read well for Brisbane and they will have had a lot to focus on this week. They will need a larger share of the ball to allow things to happen with the Broncos only managing 40% possession against the Dragons.
Unavailable: Josh Chudleigh, Shaun Fensom, Kane Linnett, Lachlan Coote, Michael Morgan
North Queensland produced a hard-fought win in Johnathan Thurston’s return from injury in what was his 300th NRL game as the Cowboys began the season in the perfect way with the two points against Cronulla.
Having initially being named amongst the reserves with an outside chance of making the 17 that takes the field, five-eighth Michael Morgan has been ruled out for a second straight game with an abdominal strain.
Having ended the last two years as the top metre maker in the NRL, it was little surprise to see Jason Taumalolo rack up the highest number of metres in the season-opener. The lock ran for 177 metres as will once again be a big part of this Cowboys team.
Since the Broncos and Cowboys met in the 2015 NRL Grand Final, some truly unbelievable things have happened that have resulted in must-watch matches. This doesn’t quite have the build-up of previous years, possibly due to the Broncos’ poor opening to the season last week but this could be just what they need to try and find some form with both teams seemingly lifting for this game. It’s hard to see past the Cowboys based on last week’s respective performances but based on recent games between the two, anything could happen.