After their coaches swapped sides in the off-season, it’s fair to expect fireworks between Souths and the Broncos. NRL Tips expert Steve Green brings you his preview of the huge Thursday night clash.
South Sydney Rabbitohs vs Brisbane Broncos
As soon as it was confirmed that Souths and Broncos would swap coaches for 2019, this game was always going to be built up by the media. There is no doubt that the consensus is that Souths got the better deal after landing Coach Bennett, but pre-season that was not the case and many people (including myself) had Coach Siebold likely to forge a reputation as an elite NRL Coach with this Broncos squad.
But despite winning last weekend, there are still some big questions makes about the Broncos conditioning, cohesion and overall happiness as a club.. The Sharks last week were decimated by injury and despite a great first half of footy, the Broncos really struggled to put them away in the second half. Milford looks gassed far too often and with Dearden debuting this weekend, Milford is really going to have to step up and show some leadership.
The wraps on this Dearden are big and he looks like a real sharp operator. He is more of a controlled, Cooper Cronk like half (rather than a Ponga / Milford style excitement machine, but that is just what the Dr ordered for this disorganised Broncos outfit.
The Broncos forwards played strongly, with the combination of Haas, Pangai Jr, Ofahengaue and Lodge really causing problems (all made about metres). All these guys are big, skilful and fit. If Glenn, Su’a, Fifita and Gillett can get back their best form, then this Broncos pack will roll through the Bunnies, who can be sluggish around the ruck.
But last weekend Souths defended brilliantly. The Panthers threw a lot at the Bunnies, but Wayne Bennett teams never give easy tries and if the Broncos don’t come with a patient attitude, they will get frustrated out of this contest. However, Souths showed that they are certainly beatable and the Panthers probably blew their chances to take the match.
Despite the second half fade out, I think the Broncos will take a lot of confidence out of last weekend and with Dearden giving the Broncos a real organising half back for the first time all year, I am expecting this one to be a thriller.
Suggested Bet: Brisbane Broncos +5.5