It has only been four weeks since Brisbane and Parramatta last met and it’s fair to say that result will still be fresh in the memories of both teams. The Broncos will be looking for revenge while the Eels are aiming for a rare double over Brisbane.
That game also created some animosity between the two long-time rivals, with Kenny Edwards’ late shot on Jonus Pearson sparking outrage across social media while Eels centre Michael Jennings discussed the Broncos ‘dirty play’ in the aftermath.
Parramatta fell to a shock defeat to Newcastle Knights a fortnight ago but bounced back with a clinical dismissal of the Gold Coast Titans.
The Broncos are looking to secure second place and will be confident after thrashing local rivals, the Titans, 54-0 to keep their fine form going.
2017 – Rd 21 Parramatta Eels 28 def. Brisbane Broncos 14 at ANZ Stadium
2016 – Rd 23 Brisbane Broncos 38 def. Parramatta Eels 16 at Suncorp Stadium
2016 – Rd 1 Brisbane Broncos 17 def. Parramatta Eels 4 at Parramatta Stadium
2015 – Rd 8 Brisbane Broncos 28 def. Parramatta Eels 16 at Suncorp Stadium
2014 – Rd 5 Parramatta Eels 25 def. Brisbane Broncos 18 at Suncorp Stadium
As previously mentioned, Parramatta took the points from the most recent meeting but the Broncos had won the previous three encounters. Before round 21 of this year, the Eels hadn’t beaten Brisbane since 2014.
|Darius Boyd||1||1||Will Smith|
|Corey Oates||2||2||Semi Radradra|
|James Roberts||3||3||Michael Jennings|
|Tautau Moga||4||4||Brad Takairangi|
|Jordan Kahu||5||5||Kirisome Auva’a|
|Anthony Milford||6||6||Corey Norman|
|Kodi Nikorima||7||7||Mitchell Moses|
|Korbin Sims||8||8||Daniel Alvaro|
|Ben Hunt||9||9||Cameron King|
|Adam Blair||10||10||Tim Mannah|
|Alex Glenn||11||11||Kenny Edwards|
|Matt Gillett||12||12||Tepai Moeroa|
|Josh McGuire||13||13||Nathan Brown|
|Sam Thaiday||14||14||David Gower|
|Jayden Su’A||15||15||Suaia Matagi|
|Jai Arrow||16||16||Frank Pritchard|
|Herman Ese’ese||17||17||Peni Terepo|
|Benji Marshall||18||18||Siosaia Vave|
|David Mead||19||19||Josh Hoffman|
|Salesi Funaki||20||20||Beau Scott|
|Tom Opacic||21||21||Kaysa Pritchard|
The Facts That Matter
The Broncos’ only change has been enforced with Tevita Pangai Junior dropping off the bench due to a hamstring complaint and being replaced by Jaydn Su’A.
Newcastle-bound Herman Ese’ese remains on the bench in the number 17 jersey. Ese’ese has played some tremendous football this season and continues to be a strong influence on the game from the bench.
Ben Hunt continues in the hooker role, though Sam Thaiday could slot in to take some heat away from the Dragons-bound half.
The Broncos have been strong at the Suncorp Stadium all season, winning nine of the 11 games they’ve played on home soil while averaging a shade under 30 points at the ground per game. The defence of their strong record will be right at the forefront of preparations for this one.
The form of five-eighth Anthony Milford has been sparkling over the last few weeks and he has been the driving force behind their attacking structure. Young Kodi Nikorima has grown further into the role and looks to have freed up Milford to play his ‘off-the-cuff’ style in the absence of Hunt in the halves.
The Eels are dealing with fitness and availability concerns with Will Smith thrust back in at fullback for the injured Bevan French, while Manu Ma’u has been suspended. Kenny Edwards comes into the starting side for Ma’u while veteran Frank Pritchard and David Gower join the bench alongside the impressive Suaia Matagi and Peni Terepo.
The Eels beat the Broncos with a dominant effort through the middle of the ruck in their last meeting and that will likely be the blueprint for Brad Arthur as they look to stop one of the best attacking threats in the league.
If the Eels can bank a second win against the Broncos inside a month, they will send a message to every team who is competing in the finals.
The Broncos could be out for sweet revenge against the team that swatted them away just a month ago and they look practically unbeatable at home. Broncos by less than 10 points.
Can the Broncos bounce back and take the win, or will the Eels make it two wins against Brisbane this season? Let us know in the comments and poll below.
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