Round 2 Preview: Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys


Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys. 
Friday, March 16th.
Suncorp Stadium. 
8:05pm (NSW), 7:05pm (QLD), 10:05pm (NZ)

Brisbane Broncos: 
1. Darius Boyd (C) 
2. Corey Oates 
3. James Roberts 
4. Jordan Kahu 
5. Jamayne Isaako 
6. Anthony Milford 
7. Kodi Nikorima 
8. Matthew Lodge 
9. Andrew McCullough 
10. Tevita Pangai Jnr 
11. Alex Glenn 
12. Matt Gillett 
13. Josh McGuire 

Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Korbin Sims 17. Tom Opacic 

 Reserves: 18. Todd Murphy 19. Sam Tagataese 20. Jonus Pearson 21. George Fai 

 North Queensland Cowboys: 
1. Ben Hampton 
2. Kyle Feldt 
3. Justin O'Neill 
4. Javid Bowen 
5. Antonio Winterstein 
6. Te Maire Martin 
7. Johnathan Thurston (C) 
8. Matthew Scott (C) 
9. Jake Granville 
10. Jordan McLean 
11. Gavin Cooper 
12. Ethan Lowe 
13. Jason Taumalolo 

Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Coen Hess 16. 16 Scott Bolton 17. Corey Jensen 

 Reserves: 18. Kyle Laybutt 19. Michael Morgan 20. Francis Molo 21. Enari Tuala 

 Preview: An interesting game to come for the Brisbane Broncos! After a disappointing performance against the Dragons in Round 1, it already has many fans and experts chalking the Broncos down as a bottom 8 team this season. The loss of Ben Hunt looked severely visible in how the Broncos played last week, and they can’t afford to have another outing like that this weekend against the big brother of Queensland! 

The North Queensland Cowboys will head into this game licking their lips! A big win against the Cronulla Sharks in Round 1 even off the back of a sloppy performance will have the Cowboys pumped! Especially coming up against a Broncos team whom they’ve not only had a lot of recent success against, but a Broncos team already looking to be in trouble after the first round! 

The Broncos will need a much improved performance if they are to beat the Cowboys who are a title contender in 2018! The forward pack of the Broncos will need to stand up this weekend as they take on arguably the best forward pack in the game, and despite a few strong individual efforts last week, the Broncos pack as a whole was a lot weaker and will need to stand up this week. 

Expect to see the Cowboys experience be the big difference in this game. Their forward pack is more experienced and rightfully aged than the Broncos pack, and don’t get me started on the halves and backs! Thurston and that incredibly dangerous back line of theirs will not be an easy task for the Broncos. 

 However, we all know the Broncos are a team not to give up on. With talented players like Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford, James Roberts and Corey Oates behind some of those big boys like Pangai Junior, Gillett and McQuire, that Broncos team will be heading into this game with nothing other than a big win on their minds. Don’t be surprised to see a much different Broncos team turn up this week! 

Key Matchup: Johnathan Thurston vs Anthony Milford. 
This is in my opinion the key match up to determine who wins this game. Both teams have a very talented lineup and despite the Cowboys have a more supreme dominance up front and out back, that won’t mean anything if they aren’t lead around the park right. 

 Last outing saw a very sloppy performance by the Cowboys, and another performance like that could see the Broncos upset the Cowboys this week. 

However the leadership will come down to the master and apprentice. Johnathan Thurston owns this league, and we know that, but a young and exciting Anthony Milford has given him plenty of headaches in previous years. Will Thurston be able to do what he does best? Or will we see Milford have one of those spectacular games we know he can provide us all with?! 

Prediction: I see the experience getting the win here. With Thurston fresh and healthy, the number one forward pack in the game, an exciting backline, and the Round 1 nerves out of the system, I think we will see a confident Cowboys team run away with this game. Cowboys by 16. 

-Stonecold

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