Match Previews

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Broncos game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 15: Broncos v Souths

The Broncos looked very poor against the Raiders, with their new halves combination of Hunt and Gamble failing to fire.

With Milford and Kelly still injured, Croft on the outer and Deardon now playing for the Cowboys, Coach Walters has no real other option but to give Hunt and Gamble another shot.

Unfortunately, they come up against one of the most dominant and consistent halves pairing of the past few seasons in Cody Walker and Adam Reynoldson.

To further demonstrate the contrasting quality of these two squads, Tesi Niu has been given another go at playing fullback (after being rushed into the team due to the injury to Coates suffered before the Broncos loss to the Raiders.

Niu had been playing in QLD Cup for nearly the entire season after some poor defensive showings earlier this year. Although he showed some glimpses of brilliance against the Raiders, he is a long way off his opposing number 1 Latrell Mitchell.

Finally, although Turpin is a hard working number 9, despite having played 2 less games that Turpin in 2021, Cook has made twice as many metres, has 6 line breaks to Turpin’s 1 line break and has 24 tackle breaks to Turpin’s 4 tackle breaks for the entire season.

It is therefore hard to see where the Bronco’s points will come from and although they usually play much better at home, the Broncos have been truly awful in recent weeks and it is not clear whether Coach Walters has really improved this team much in the opening half of the season.

Souths were not great against the Knights last week and with a strong forward pack, the Broncos might be able to put up a fight, but I think Souths will prove to be far too strong.

Predicted score Souths 32 – Broncos 10

As well as providing his best value bets every week, our NRL guru Steve Green also previews every NRL game for members. Here’s Steve’s thoughts for every Broncos game.

To get Steve’s previews plus his best bets each week, join NRL Tips now!

NRL Round 16: Broncos v Sharks

The Broncos are at risk of turning into a fully fledged circus this weekend. With a spate of mysterious injuries sustained at training and a decision to not release Lodge or Pangai Jnr early, it is clear Coach Walters job is now under pressure.

Ben Ikin joining the club last week shows that those at the top think something is not right at the club. Ikin has been very outspoken in his criticism of Walters chopping and changing his halves, so it is no surprise to see Milford given a spot on the extended bench….while Croft given a shot at 7.

I have backed Coach Walters, because I think he has inherited a very poor squad and culture. But his decision to promote K Hunt from the QLD Cup was truly baffling…he had been very mediocre for the Souths Logan Magpies.

I also think that the reluctance to drop Alex Glenn on form shows that Coach Walters has a tenuous relationship with this playing group, because the current skipper is not setting a good example with his defensive lapses. For every 9.5 tackles that Glenn makes, he misses a tackle. That is simply not good enough for an edge defender.

As for the Sharks, they have flying under the radar and while I do believe their current strong form has been because of weak opponents, there is no denying how much Johnson has improved their form.

If the Broncos were a more settled playing group and this game was not being played under COVID lockdown restrictions with no crowd, then I think the Broncos were a chance here of an upset here.

But I have learned from 2020, that the Broncos are a club where drama can fester, and I think it is going to be a tough end to the 2021 season for Broncos fans.

Predicted score Sharks 24 – Broncos 18

NRL Round 14: Raiders v Broncos

With Curtis Scott the latest Raiders to bring drama to the club, you would have to think morale is at rock-bottom in the nation’s capital.

Their opponents however are now so desperate to find a decent halves pairing that Karmichael Hunt gets another shot in the NR, 12 years after he left the competition to try his hand at AFL.

Hunt has been playing well in the QLD Cup, but he is nowhere near carving up the league, so I find this promotion a little strange. Gamble was not great last weekend, but I thought he deserved another go if fully fit.

For the Raiders Timoko gets his first go in the top grade for 2021. While I rate this guy, he also has not been setting the world on fire in reserve grade, so his promotion to first grade has probably come before his time, simply because the Raiders are now without their two first choice centres in Croker and Scott.

After a shocking performance against the Roosters, Aekins has been dropped and Simonsson gets a go at 1. While I like how hard he tries and he is very athletic, I have some serious concerns over when Simonsson has the game awareness to play at fullback. With Albert Kelly’s quality short kicking game, I think there is a chance the Broncos have some luck with the early grubber.

Haas should back up for the desperate Broncos and with Lodge, TPJ and Flegler, the Broncos have an aggressive starting pack. I left out Glenn on purpose, because I really thought he struggled in his comeback game and I am sure the Raiders will try to target the aging back rower.

The Broncos have some really good young forwards on their bench again and they have also dropped their fullback (Isaako) after a shocking performance last weekend, with the ever reliable Farmworth given a shot.

Coates is likely to back up too, so I think the Broncos are not without a chance to spring an upset here.

However with Wighton the stand-out half in this match, Tapine and Papalii back in the forwards and Hodgson back steering the ship at 9, I think the Raiders will be just good enough to nab the win.

Predicted score Raiders 25 – Broncos 18

2021 Round 13: Dragons v Broncos

I thought it was more likely that Dufty would return in Round 14 or 15, so his inclusion is not great news and the market has moved against us. With Dufty apparently making it through the captain’s run today, the line has gone from 5.5 to 7.5.

However, I like the approach Coach Walters has taken to his team selection. Gamble is in for Milford, while the bench is stacked with young, hungry and athletic forwards that have excelled in the QLD Cup (Hetherington, Palasia, Bullemor and Robati). These guys will bring the energy the Broncos need and I think they have the edge over a DeBelin who will be down on match fitness and guys like Alvaro, who have shown the age in recent weeks.

I also like that Coach Walters is debuting Selwyn Cobbo. The big fullback has been a monster in the QLD Cup and I am much happier that he is getting a shot on the wing over the sluggish Corey Oates. Coach Walters has shown he is picking on form and enthusiasm, something the Broncos have needed to do for a long time now.

With Asiata, Flegler, Pangai and Lodge, they still have plenty of experience, while they welcome back their captain Alex Glenn. Glenn has not been good for a while now, but after a long lay off, hopefully he has got his body right and he can recapture some of the form that once had him as an elite backrower.

Against the Storm last week, the Broncos had the better of the Storm in the opening 20 minutes, but a few dropped balls by the Broncos let the Storm off the hook and the Storm then capitalised on their chances.

While the Dragons have a bit more attacking strike power now with the likes of Ravawala and Dufty back in the team, the form and confidence of Hunt and Norman is still an issue.

And although their back three are all dangerous players, the centre pairing of Beale and Williame have not played a lot of NRL footy in centres in recent times, so I do think the Dragons attack will continue to struggle without the attacking prowess of guys like T Sims and Z Lomax on the edges.

I think the Dragons are gritty enough to get the win here, but this Broncos team will throw plenty at them and should keep it close enough to cover the line.

Predicted score Dragons 21 – Broncos 20

2021 Round 12: Broncos v Storm

The Broncos win over the Roosters last week was the club’s greatest win in recent memory. While the Roosters were not at their best and the game was marred by the effect of sin bins, the Broncos played their best footy in a long time.

However, when the Broncos have won games this year (i.e. against the Titans and the Bulldogs), they have struggled to back it up next week with a strong performance.

This weekend, with only a 5 day turnaround and up against a Storm outfit that loves playing at Suncorp and has totally dominated the Broncos over the last decade, the Broncos will have to lift really lift if they are to go back to back.

Making matters worse for the Broncos, is the fact that two of their most competitive guys are missing – Gamble and Lodge. Gamble might not be the most skilful have in the NRL, but his competitiveness and scrappiness is something the Broncos have been sorely missing.

And while Lodge has many detractors for his off-field behaviour, he is one of the best props in the game based on his 2021 form. The Broncos squad is much weaker as a result of these guys missing.

As for the Storm, while they are still without Munster, Grant, Papenhuyzen and K Bromwich, they do look set to welcome back J Hughes.

And as we painfully saw against the Raiders, the Storm still possess plenty of power in the middle and enough class out wide to exploit weak defenders.

With the Broncos recalling Milford, I am worried that they will be able to successfully target him on the edges.

And although the Broncos were horrible against the Eels last time they played at home, I think the Broncos have generally been competitive in their home games this year.

While the Storm demolished the Raiders in the second half, I think that had more to do with the Raiders rolling over and giving in due to huge issues at the club.

For all the drama in recent years, the Broncos have been far more resilient in 2021 and with the Storm missing so many attacking strike weapons, I would be surprised to see the Storm blow the Broncos off the park at Suncorp.

Predicted score Storm 26 – Broncos 12

2021 Round 9: Cowboys vs Broncos

Both these teams staged impressive comebacks last weekend, however the Broncos comeback was unlike anything I have seen.

With Isaako’s poor positional play exposed on multiple occasions early in the match, the Broncos looked set for a long night. However, off the back of some beautiful backline movements and some amazing runs by their enigmatic number 1, the Broncos got themselves back in the game.

After that they started dominating through the middle, with Haas, Pangai, Carrigan and Lodge all proving hard to contain in the middle.

The Broncos outside backs also made a solid contribution, while the halves pairing of Gamble and Milford played far better than I thought was possible.

As for the Cowboys, they lost Hampton to injury last week and this has seen Clifford given another shot at the 7. He has been playing great in the QLD Cup, so it will be interesting to see if he can step up and cope with the NRL speed of the game.

Taumalolo is lining up at lock again, but he was underwhelming last weekend and does not seem too settled under Coach Payten.

Out wide, Javid Bowen gets another shot at the NRL – but he has not impressed me whenever we have seen him line up.

Drinkwater and Holmes are the big threat for the Broncos and because the Broncos still look very vulnerable at times, I am not willing to have too big of a bet here…but off the back of their last 60 minutes of football, I think the Broncos are a very good chance of covering the line.

Predicted score Cowboys 24 – Broncos 24

Steve Green is back with NRL Tips in 2021. With all of Steve's best bets and full previews of every NRL game, it's the only way to bet the NRL. Join now to start beating the bookies!


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