2018 NRL – Brisbane Broncos vs St George-Illawarra Dragons Preview

AT A GLANCE

When?
Sunday 9th September, 07:00 (UK)

Where?
Suncorp Stadium

What channel is it on?
UK – Sky Sports Arena
Australia – 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://hotshow3.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=NRLSUNQF18

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

BRONCOS

Head Coach: Wayne Bennett

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

Unavailable: Andre Savelio, Matt Gillett, Payne Haas, Jayden Su’A, Alex Glenn

  • Brisbane did what was needed against Manly last week as they sealed a home play-off. Heading into the game requiring a win by 23 points or more, the Broncos were ruthless as they ran in eight tries to secure a 48-16 victory.

  • Alex Glenn was withdrawn 24 hours before kick-off with a calf injury so David Fifita starts and Kotoni Staggs joins the bench. Andrew McCullough returns at hooker in place of Jake Turpin.

  • The Broncos completed at 79% during the regular season, the best completion rate of any side in the NRL. In order to achieve that number, they made just 215 errors which was the lowest number in the competition.

DRAGONS

Head Coach: Paul McGregor

Starting 13: Dufty, Macdonald, Lomax, Lafai, Pereira, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Ah Mau, Frizell, Sims, De Belin – Interchanges: Latimore, Mann, Lawrie, Leilua – Reserves: Nightingale, Sele

Unavailable: Paul Vaughan, Euan Aitken

  • St George ended the season with a confidence-boosting 14-24 victory over Newcastle. Despite the win, with Brisbane managing a big win over Manly, the Dragons won’t have a home play-off game and must instead face a daunting trip to Suncorp.

  • Gareth Widdop has provided his side with a big boost as he returns at five-eighth. However, Euan Aitken misses out whilst there is also some doubt over the fitness of Jack De Belin. Jai Field drops off the bench with Kurt Mann taking his place due to Widdop’s return.

  • The Dragons made more tackle busts than any other team during the regular season with 774, an average of 32 per game.

THE PREDICTION

Many have already written off St George after a poor end to the season and now they have to travel to Brisbane in order to progress to the second week of the finals. They are boosted by the return of captain Gareth Widdop but that may not be enough to overcome a stubborn Brisbane team. The Broncos made the fewest errors during the regular season and had the best completion rate. If they replicate that consistency then they will be difficult to beat, especially on home soil. The young Broncos pack will fancy their chances here and they can lead their side into the next round.