A victory for St George could see them return to the top eight if the Cowboys, Sea Eagles or Panthers lose. The game also gives the Red V faithful a glimpse of what to expect from Brisbane’s Dragons-bound playmaker Ben Hunt in 2018.
A place in the finals is all-but assured for the Broncos, whose Minor Premiership hopes were effectively ended with a defeat to ladder-leaders Melbourne. The Broncos will still want to secure a minimum of a top four finish and potentially a home final. Their vastly superior points difference against finals-chasing sides, other than the Storm, could prove crucial.
2016 – Rd 22 Brisbane 12 def. St George Illawarra 8 at WIN Stadium
2016 – Rd 6 Brisbane 26 def. St George Illawarra 0 at Suncorp Stadium
2015 – Rd 23 Brisbane 32 def. St George Illawarra 6 at Suncorp Stadium
2015 – Rd 7 St George Illawarra 12 def. Brisbane 10 at UOW Jubilee Oval
2014 – Rd 25 Brisbane 30 def. St George Illawarra 22 at Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane will be the favourites to pick up the win and their recent record against the Dragons also provides cause for optimism. The Broncos have won four of the last five meetings, including a 26-0 victory in 2016 at the Suncorp Stadium.
|Darius Boyd||1||1||Matthew Dufty|
|Corey Oates||2||2||Nene MacDonald|
|James Roberts||3||3||Josh Dugan|
|Tautau Moga||4||4||Tim Lafai|
|Jordan Kahu||5||5||Jason Nightingale|
|Anthony Milford||6||6||Gareth Widdop|
|Kodi Nikorima||7||7||Kurt Mann|
|Korbin Sims||8||8||Leeson Ah Mau|
|Ben Hunt||9||9||Cameron McInnes|
|Adam Blair||10||10||Paul Vaughan|
|Alex Glenn||11||11||Tyson Frizell|
|Matt Gillett||12||12||Joel Thompson|
|Josh McGuire||13||13||Jack de Belin|
|Sam Thaiday||14||14||Tariq Sims|
|Tevita Pangai Junior||15||15||Hame Sele|
|Jai Arrow||16||16||Blake Lawrie|
|Herman Ese’ese||17||17||Taane Milne|
|Benji Marshall||18||18||Josh McCrone|
|David Mead||19||19||Will Matthews|
|Jaydn Su’A||20||20||Luciano Leilua|
|Tom Opacic||21||21||Euan Aitken|
The Facts That Matter
Ever since coach Wayne Bennett returned to the Broncos, where he spent the best part of 20 rather successful years, they have been up there with the best in the NRL. Brisbane endured comparatively meagre seasons in his absence. During that time, the most consistent aspects of their game has been their defence and discipline, with only two teams conceding less tries in 2017. They have the joint-best attack in the competition having scored 88 tries, the same number as the Sea Eagles and Storm.
The Broncos have an imposing home record, having only lost twice there this season to bogey sides Melbourne and North Queensland.
St George Illawarra Dragons
The Dragons’ attack has also been dangerous this season, having scored just five less tries than Brisbane however their defence ranks at eighth in the competition. St George’s discipline has been kept in check this year while they have missed less tackles than anyone else in the NRL.
2017 can be regarded as a season of vast improvement for the Dragons. Their finals hopes are not over just yet but they will probably need to win all of their matches to stay in the top eight race. They travel to Suncorp having won four out of their 10 away games.
With the desperate circumstances surrounding this match, both teams will be up for the fight. The Dragons will come out and give at a good go but the Broncos have the edge in defence and attack. With a top two spot up for grabs, and the Roosters breathing down their necks, Brisbane should be able to continue their home record with another victory. Broncos by 12.
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