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13 Apr 2018 by TSZ

2018 NRL – New Zealand Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When? Saturday 14th April, 06:00 (UK)

Where? Mt Smart Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - New Zealand Warriors vs Brisbane Broncos will not be televised live in the UK Australia - Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - N/A Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-...

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

WARRIORS

Head Coach: Stephen Kearney

Starting 13: Tuivasa-Sheck, Fusitu’a, Hiku, Kata, Maumalo, Green, Johnson, Afoa, Luke, Paasi, Pulu, Harris, Blair – Interchanges: Tevaga, Lisone, Mannering, Gelling – Reserves: Satae, Papali’I

Unavailable: Nathaniel Roache, Gerard Beale, Isaiah Papali’I, James Gavet

  • New Zealand Warriors maintained their 100% start to the season with another superb win as they defeated North Queensland Cowboys 22-12 at Mt Smart last week.
  • Head coach Stephen Kearney names an unchanged side following his side’s impressive win over the Cowboys last weekend.
  • The back three did a good job for the Warriors last week as they returned kicks for a combined 194 metres. In comparison, the Cowboys only made 90 metres from kick returns with the Warriors doing a good job in restricting how their opponents began their sets.

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Starting 13: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Opacic, Isaako, Milford, Bird, Lodge, McCullough, Pangai Jnr, Glenn, Su’A, McGuire – Interchanges: Thaiday, Ofahengaue, Sims, Tagataese – Reserves: Pearson, Nikorima

Unavailable: Andre Savelio, Jordan Kahu, Matt Gillett, Kodi Nikorima

  • Brisbane’s poor start to the season continued as they lost to Newcastle Knights. The Broncos didn’t lead the game at any point and despite having more sets thanks to six forced drop outs, they couldn’t make it count as they went down 15-10.
  • Brisbane have been rocked by the news that Matt Gillett will be out for a sustained period with a fractured neck. To compound things for the Broncos, Kodi Nikorima will also sit out this game with a leg injury. Jack Bird moves to the halves whilst Sam Tagataese comes onto the bench.
  • The Broncos have scored just 69 points so far this season, an average of 13.8 points per game. Only three sides have scored fewer with Brisbane hoping the enforced change in the halves can spark their attack.

THE PREDICTION

Two teams in contrasting form meet at Mt Smart as New Zealand Warriors look to extend their winning run this season to six games. They will fancy their chances against an out-of-sorts Brisbane Broncos who have also copped a couple of big injuries this week. The Warriors were once again too good for their opponents as they defeated the Cowboys last week whilst the Broncos were downed by the Knights. They have been lacking a cutting edge in attack and whilst Nikorima’s injury is a blow, the Broncos will hope a change in personnel can help them find the whitewash more regularly. However, the Warriors are in fine form and should be backed to continue their 100% record.

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