Brisbane Broncos Vs Parramatta Eels
24 Aug 2017, 7:50pm (AEST)
After Round 21 where the Broncos were put played convincingly by the Eels at home, will Brisbane return the favour on their home soil?
Brisbane Broncos, 15-0-7, 2nd (+172)
It looks like Master coach W. Bennett has his team humming at the right time of the season yet again. They have climbed to second on the ladder in a blink of an eye. Currently on a scoring feast, clocking up 54,32 and 24 points in their last 3 games and not conceding more than 12 points in the same games. Having won 7 out of their last 10 games, currently 3 in a row, they face the Eels who embarrassed them in round 21.
Revenge is a dish best served cold and we believe they will be up for this weeks challenge. They went to Sydney expecting an easy match, but the Eels showed their full potential and won 28-14.
Last week after a good hit out against the Dragons, A. Milford regained the form his team requires for them to go deep into the finals. He was dynamic and seems to be developing a good combination with K. Nikorima and B. Hunt in the hooker position. A player that isn’t getting much thanks from outside the club is S. Thaiday, told he wasn’t required after next year, he has really stepped up his efforts to try and deliver. Showing his potential to any clubs that want a veteran forward to develop their young players.
Premierships in the modern era are built around defensive structures, conceding 20 points or more only 8 times this season, is a strong indicator that they are gearing up for a big finals series. With a ridiculous For and Against (+/-) of 172, they just need to win 1 of their last 2 games to secure a top 4 position.
For us, the initial 20 minutes will tell us how the game will go. If Brisbane get a roll on early (which we are expecting) the foot won’t come off the throttle and they could win by another large margin. In the back of their minds a win this week secures a Top four position and potentially a home game to kick of the final series.
They will be tough to beat.
Parramatta Eels, 14-0-8, 5th (+15)
Coach Arthur has really pulled this team together during the course of the season. Heavily questioned about his recruitment of M. Moses, has proved to be a master stroke. This has allowed C. Norman, B. French and their hookers to lessen their stress and allow them to “float” and pick their times to strike. With the halves looking rather settled, their forward pack has grown an inch or two also. N. Brown has been immense for the Blue and Gold, averaging 152m of 15 hit ups and a lazy 34 tackles per match. A great buy for Parramatta and like Moses, his work load is infectious and has flowed throughout the team.
With 8 wins from their last 10 starts, a shock loss to the Knights, stopped their 6 game winning streak and “was the game they had to lose” to shock them back to thinking about the upcoming finals series.
With the victory against Brisbane just 4 rounds ago, their spirits will be high. And this could play into the Brisbane’s hands if they are complacent. With still a congested ladder below them, they won’t want to lose, let alone receive a flogging this week, as it could cause problems in the first round of the finals. A win could see them move into the top 4 if other results go their way.
For us, We don’t think they can win the game. This will change if they don’t allow the early points they conceded last time they met. If they conceded these points, we believe Brisbane at home will go on with the Job.
Stats that matter Round 24 – Brisbane (B) vs Eels (E)
Completion rate: B: 71% Vs E: 75%
Offloads: B: 13 Vs E: 6
Penalties conceded: B: 8 Vs E: 8
Errors: B: 11 Vs E: 15
Run Meters: B: 1,628 Vs E: 1,523
The Eels pack better be ready for the late offload and secure that ball in the tackle. This may lead to more penalties against them and exaggerate the potential meters that Brisbane will run for.
Team news: (Final team lists released an hour before the game)
T.P. Junior is out with a hamstring complaint to which J. Su’A comes back to the 17 on the bench.
Another ham string complaint to B. French sees him out of the team with the finals being around the corner. W. Smith slots into the Full Back position and did play well last time he had the No.1 on his back. M. Ma’u is suspended this allows a reshuffle to occur:
K. Edwards to start in the back row, which opens up a spot for D. Gower and his mate F. Pritchard to make the 17 man squad.
Their last 5 game report card:
Brisbane have won 3 games, twice at Suncorp, Parramatta have won 2 games, once at Suncorp.
2017 – Round 21 – Parramatta won by 14 points at ANZ,
2016 – Round 23 – Brisbane won by 22 points at Suncorp,
2016 – Round 1 – Brisbane won by 13 points at Pirtek,
2015 – Round 8 – Brisbane won by 12 points at Suncorp and
2014 – Round 5 – Parramatta won by 7 points at Suncorp.
What we take from this?
With a Top four position on the line, it’s a must win for both teams. Being at Suncorp we are liking Brisbane to win, off the back of their forwards. Parramatta will do well to compete in the first 20 minutes, with a Brisbane pack looking at offloading a lot more and a well drilled back line scoring some magnificent tries.
Both teams won last week with less possession, indicating that they are taking their chances when offered.
For us the errors in Parramatta will hurt them and with Brisbane still reeling from round 21, they will be more desperate and looking for Redemption.
Main – To Lead After (minutes) – 20:00 (Brisbane) $1.72 (bet365)
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