Round 3 Preview: Wests Tigers vs Brisbane Broncos


Wests Tigers vs Brisbane Broncos.

Friday, March 23rd

8:05pm NSW, 7:05pm QLD, 10:05pm NZ
Campbelltown Stadium

Wests Tigers
  1. Corey Thompson
  2. David Nofoaluma
  3. Esan Marsters
  4. Kevin Naiqama
  5. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak
  6. Benji Marshall (C)
  7. Luke Brooks
  8. Russell Packer
  9. Pita Godinet
  10. Ben Matulino
  11. Chris Lawrence
  12. Robbie Rochow
  13. Matthew Eisenhuth
Interchange:
  1. Matt McIlwrick
  2. Alex Twal
  3. Michael Chee Kam
  4. Josh Aloiai
Reserves:
  1. Tyson Gamble
  2. Sauaso Sue
  3. Tim Grant
  4. Taane Milne

Brisbane Broncos
  1. Darius Boyd (C)
  2. Corey Oates
  3. James Roberts
  4. Tom Opacic
  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: 
  1. Sam Thaiday
  2. Joe Ofahengaue
  3. Korbin Sims
  4. Jaydn Su'A
Reserves:
  1. Sam Tagataese
  2. Jack Bird
  3. Jonus Pearson
  4. Todd Murphy

Preview: 
Well what a game this could turn out being! We have the surprisingly undefeated Tigers taking on a very inconsistent Broncos team.

This game is by far the hardest review I’ve had to do this season so far. Everything makes me lean towards the Tigers. The Tigers have had a lot of luck as of late against the Broncos at Campbelltown, and let’s not forget to mention they just knocked off the two premiership favorites in back to back weeks. However this Broncos team are a real headache to predict. We’ve seen them in a disgusting Round 1 performance against the Dragons, and then only a week later knock off the Cowboys! What is going on?!

The Tigers are coming off a big win in Melbourne against the Storm celebrating Billy Slater’s 300th. His first milestone game loss ever! The Tigers have been defensively incredible, keeping last year’s premiers and this year’s title favourites to just 8 points. Not to mention the Tigers also conceded an NRL record 18 penalties and still beat the number one team! 

So why is this so hard may you ask? Well because I’m still not convinced on my Tigers. And let’s not forget the Broncos are the team to never give up on. The Tigers may be 2-0 against the top two teams, and their defence may be spectacular, but who’s the one team we all know can change a team’s luck? The Brisbane Broncos. 

The Broncos are coming off the back of a massive outing against the Cowboys. Yes I also feel they got lucky to take home the win, but a win is a win, and it was a massive improvement from Round 1! The question is, will the Broncos build on that win? If so, expect the Tigers to have another close thriller on their game. However if the Broncos come out like they did in Round 1, then it’ll be over by half time. 

So the question is, what Broncos team turns up? Let’s wait and see!

Key Match-up: Battle Of The Halves.
This match up will be won through the halves. We’ve seen that the Tigers pack is up to scratch by taking on two of the bigger packs already. While the Broncos pack is coming off a win against the best pack in the game, so up front, this will be a physical game. But how the game will be won is in the halves. You have the master and apprentice in Benji and Brooks who have been phenomenal in the opening two rounds coming up against a very exciting young halves combo in Milford and Nikorima who on their day can produce one hell of a performance. Benji and Brooks have showed some seriously impressive game management so far. The pair have been the best game managing halves in the opening two rounds, while on the other hand you have a duo who is known to be a very deadly offensive pairing. Whichever pair controls the game best will most probably go on to win the game, but whichever pair settles into their game first I definitely see taking the win. The Broncos halves have showed a few weaknesses already, and if Benji and Brooks continue their form, we will see a quick game. The Broncos halves need to stand out and control the game more so than the Tigers halves. If they can somehow do that, then watch Brisbane head home with the points.

Stonecold’s Prediction:
The Wests Tigers. Not being bias at all here. The Tigers defence has been incredible, and if they can defend the same way they did against the two competition favorites, then I have no doubt the Tigers will win. The problem is the Broncos have a lot of points in them. Defensively the Tigers should be better, but they need to find some more offence. If the Tigers can pull out 18 points this weekend, then I’m confident their defence will keep their opponents below that. But let’s wait and see! Tigers by 10.

-Stonecold

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