2018 NRL – Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers Preview

AT A GLANCE

When? Friday 20th July, 10:55 (UK)

Where? Suncorp Stadium

What channel is it on? UK - Sky Sports Arena
Australia - Nine Network, Foxtel, LIVE PASS

Where can I stream the match? UK - Sky Sports subscribers can stream the match online via Sky Go
Australia - https://www.telstra.com.au/tv-movies-music/sports-offer

Are tickets still available? http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=BRON1918

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

Starting 13: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Kahu, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Lodge, McCullough, Thaiday, Glenn, Pangai Jnr, McGuire – Interchanges: Staggs, Ofahengaue, Sims, Mago – Reserves: Shibasaki, Fifita, Tagataese, Dargan

Unavailable: Andre Savelio, Matt Gillett, Jack Bird, Payne Haas, Jayden Su’A

  • After a brilliant win without their Origin players in the previous week against Gold Coast, Brisbane were comfortably beaten by New Zealand Warriors last week despite the return of those players. The Warriors ran in five tries to one as they came away from Suncorp with a 6-26 win.

  • James Roberts was the only player that didn’t back-up last week but he returns to the side this week in place of Jayden Su’A who is out for the season with an ankle injury. David Fifita also drops out with Tevita Pangai Jnr starting in the second row.

  • Having won three games in a row, Brisbane’s loss last week was disappointing and now leaves them just four points head of ninth-placed Canberra.

PANTHERS

Head Coach: Anthony Griffin

Starting 13: Watene-Zelezniak, Mansour, Blake, Whare, Crichton, Maloney, Cleary, Merrin, Katoa, Tamou, Kikau, Yeo, Fisher-Harris – Interchanges: Peachey, Harawira-Naera, Hetherington, Leota – Reserves: Luai, May, Ellis, Egan

Unavailable: Sam McKendry, Dylan Edwards, Reagan Campbell-Gillard

  • Penrith couldn’t make it back-to-back wins without their Origin stars as they fell to defeat against Cronulla. Ex-Panther Matt Moylan was one of the big differences with a superb display as he guided the Sharks to a 12-24 win.

  • James Maloney, Nathan Cleary and Tyrone Peachey all return after sitting out following their Origin exploits whilst Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is back from injury along with long-term absentee Josh Mansour. Wayde Egan, Tyrone Phillips, Tyrone May, Jarome Luai and Caleb Aekins make way.

  • The Panthers have won just one of their last four games, a run of form that has seen them drop out of the hotly contested top 4.

THE PREDICTION

Brisbane host Penrith with both teams eager to get in the winning enclosure following defeats last week. The Broncos couldn’t make it four wins on the bounce after they went down at home in poor fashion to the Warriors whilst the Panthers were beaten by the Sharks. For Penrith, they can recall their Origin troops and they’re also boosted by the return of two big players from injury but having dropped out of the top 4 with last week’s loss, they may find it hard to retake their place. The Broncos slipped to eighth last week and have both the Raiders and Tigers chasing them with a win crucial here to keep some breathing space. This is a tricky contest to call but it might worth siding with the Panthers to bounce back here.