Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
IF the win-less Newcastle Knights did not already have enough worries on their plate then they were dished up another one today after competition leaders the Brisbane Broncos named a full-strength side for this weekend's NRL clash.
Broncos' absentees from Saturday night's comfortable round 12 win over South Sydney, second-rower David Stagg (shoulder) and Queensland Origin forwards Brad Thorn (sternum) and Tonie Carroll (calf), are set to return against last-placed Newcastle at Energy Australia Stadium on Sunday.
Second-rower Dane Carlaw and utility forwards' Corey Parker and Neville Costigan, the injured trio's fill-ins, have been shifted back to a six-man bench alongside utility Casey McGuire, centre Brent Tate and prop Darren Mapp.
While Saturday night substitute Sam Thaiday has been shifted back to the Queensland Wizard Cup with the club's feeder team Toowoomba.
The interchange list will be trimmed to four following the Broncos' pre-match training session on Saturday.
Despite Scott Minto feeling a slight hamstring twinge during this morning's training session and Leon Bott, for the second-day running, being restricted to cross-training and physio-treatment for a slight calf-muscle strain, both wingers are expected to be fully fit for Sunday.
The Broncos' four Queensland Origin performers who backed up for Saturday's match were rested from training yesterday and this morning, but undertook a light training session this afternoon in the form of weights and a bike ride.
Brisbane Broncos: Karmichael Hunt; Scott Minto, Justin Hodges, Shaun Berrigan, Leon Bott; Darren Lockyer (c), Brett Seymour; Tonie Carroll, Brad Thorn, David Stagg; Petero Civoniceva, Barry Berrigan, Shane Webcke. Interchange: Corey Parker, Casey McGuire, Dane Carlaw, Neville Costigan, Brent Tate, Darren Mapp (two to be ommitted). Coach: Wayne Bennett