NRL Tips expert Steve Green returns for a bumper Thursday night clash between the Broncos and Rabbitohs.
Can Brisbane resurrect their faltering season or will the Bunnies be too strong? Don’t do your footy tips for this round before you read Steve’s NRL preview.
Although all the focus last week was on the Panthers coaching shambles, this week attention focused on the drama playing out at Red Hill.
Broncos HQ have apparently told Bennett he won’t be coach in 2019, with the champion mentor apparently already looking south for opportunities.
While some people may say that this is a reason to stay well away from the Broncos, I think that the teams coached by Bennett have always thrived when they need to bunker down and I think the Broncos will be right to go mentally tomorrow night.
When a Coach loses the dressing room, they you have an issue, but by all reports the players are right behind their coach and if anything I expect them to come out firing in support of their well-liked mentor.
As for my player ratings, the Souths backline and bench has been decimated by injury, with the Bunnies missing an entire backline to injury (Greg Inglis, Adam Doueihi, Robert Jennings, Alex Johnston and Campbell Graham).
While Souths are lucky to have depth, that is still a lot of talent to be missing against a Broncos backline that is choc-full of rep players (everyone in the Broncos back line has either played in Origin or for their country).
While Souths do still have a strong starting forward pack and their halves intact, they have come through the two hardest games you could imagine (Storm and Roosters) in the past two weeks and now travelling up to Brisbane to take on a desperate Broncos outfit is a tough ask.
As for the Broncos, Coach Bennett has reinstated Kahu and McGuire returns from suspension. Tevita Pangai looks to have overcome his niggling hamstring and the Broncos look the strongest they have been in a while.
While their loss to the Cowboys was a tough one to swallow, the in the light of the day it wasn’t the worst performance from the Broncos. Their second half was horrible, but they fought back well. They just failed to defend a few kicks and the Cowboys played some great footy (led by the two superstar JT’s).
All things considered, losing in Townsville to the Cowboys should not have been seen as the death-knell that News Corp journalists seem to claim is the case.
At home, playing a Souths team that has a tough fortnight of footy and is missing some key players out wide, I think the Broncos deserve to be favourite here.
However, while Souths are vulnerable, they are a heavyweight team that is still featuring the Burgess bros, Gagai, Sutton, Reynolds and Walker…so the Broncos will have to play very well to win.