2 days ago
Broncos v Eels preview - 2017 Round 25
The Eels travel north to continue their trek into the top four as they attempt to unseat the Broncos who seem to be cruising to the semi-finals and a home final.
Since they lost to the Eels in Round 21, the Broncos have been on a tear through the NRL. They have amassed 110 points in three victories and coach Wayne Bennett has timed the Broncos run perfectly into the finals.
It was another sparkling performance from Anthony Milford in their 24-12 victory planting down one four-pointer himself and assisting in another as they overpowered a Dragons team that could not hang with a top four contender.
Parramatta are a different prospect, as the blue-and-gold withstood the early Broncos onslaught to level at 12-all. From there the Eels edged ahead with two penalty goals before two late tries blew out the scoreline and bar a blip against the Knights, it has been smooth sailing mostly for the Eels in their chase for the top four.
Mid-season transfer Mitchell Moses has found his groove in his new clothes, as his inside-out pass to Will Smith showed against the Warriors but as his attacking options dwindle the half will need to take on a heavier load.
There is a dilemma for coach Brad Arthur though, as the casualty ward has racked up for the Eels, with winger Bevan French, the latest to check in. Their mounting toll might be the thing that curbed the finals campaign for a resurgent blue and gold fanbase starved for success.
Last meeting: Round 21 2017 - Eels 28 Broncos 14
Who to watch: It seemed every time the Broncos shifted it out to their edge, Tautau Moga fended and left the Dragons defenders clutching at air. So expect much the same against an Eels side that can be suspect defensively and the centre should add to his 9 tries for 2017.
Will Smith came into the custodian role after Bevan French's injury last Friday night - the utility didn't face a tough task against the Titans but did cross the stripe twice in the 22-point victory. The heat will be turned up against a Broncos outfit that can attack from any part of the field and will pressure his positioning with kicks and line-breaks.
The favourite: After their loss to the Eels a month or so back, Brisbane has been in perfect form, so with the mounting injuries of the Eels and the game being at Suncorp, Brisbane should win this game comfortably.
My tip: Broncos by 12.
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Tautau Moga 19. David Mead 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Korbin Sims 14. Sam Thaiday 10. Adam Blair 11. Alex Glenn 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh Mcguire 9. Ben Hunt 15. Jaydn Su'a 16. Jai Arrow 17. Herman Essese
1. Will Smith 2. Semi Radradra 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. Kirisome Auva'a 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitchell Moses 18. Siosaia Vave 9. Cameron King 10. Tim Mannah 11. Kenny Edwards 12. Tepai Moeroa 13. Nathan Brown 8. Daniel Alvaro 14. David Gower 15. Suaia Matagi 16. Frank Pritchard
Referees: Ashley Klein, Adam Gee; Sideline Officials: Belinda Sleeman, Tim Roby; Video Referees: Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten;