Round 6: Warriors v Broncos preview
If you said pre-season that one these sides were 5 from 5 in 2018 with the other being 2 from 5, there wouldn't be too many guffaws.
However, if you said it would be the Warriors that would be undefeated and the Broncos struggling then many people would be doubting, but here we are.
The Warriors head into round 6 having taken victory across their five matches including a strong victory over the North Queensland Cowboys last weekend. The Warriors came into last week's win off the back of a big win over the Sydney Roosters and confidence was high when they took on the North Queensland Cowboys. The Warriors at the same point last season were sitting in 13th compared to their current 2nd placing as well as scoring almost 40 points more than they were coming into Round 6 last season.
Brisbane come into the clash sitting down in 12th spot with just two victories from their 5 matches so far this season. The Broncos have looked a step below their opponents throughout the season and one of their victories came in very controversial fashion against the Tigers. In the past fortnight, the Broncos have been beaten in decent fashion by the Titans and Knights with both performances bringing plenty of concern with players not standing up and leading the team. The concern for Wayne Bennett's men has been the large number of errors and they will need to cut these down to be able to put consistency together.
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has kept his squad the same as last week's victory over the Cowboys. The Broncos have made just a couple of minor changes with Alex Glenn returning straight to the starting side after a shoulder injury with Jayden Su'A dropping back to the bench and Tom Opacic going into the reserves.
Who to watch: Bunty Afoa - The Warriors big man has taken his game to a new level so far in 2018 and is the leading Warriors forward after 5 rounds. Afoa has made 536m this season from 53 runs and his big runs are important to getting the Warriors momentum in attack. The defence of Afoa has also been important with the big man's big hits unsettling his opponents.
Anthony Milford - The Broncos half is the experienced man leading his side around and he needs to step up if the Broncos want to match it with the Warriors. Milford last week was trying to create things without luck but still there needs to be improvement for Milford and no doubt the man nicknamed "The Milf" will need to improve big time and have his best game of the season if the Broncos want the win.
My tip: It's really hard to see the Warriors getting beaten in NZ, The Broncos have been very average in their matches this season as well as their record in Auckland isn't great having won just 9 matches out of 22 visits. The Warriors are playing too well for the Broncos to improve that quickly. Warriors by 10.