Broncos prepare for Foran
Brisbane's hopes of securing a Round 1 victory have received a boost with Parramatta's star recruit Kieran Foran in doubt with a hamstring injury.
The Eels' loss could be the Broncos' gain with Brisbane naming a full-strength team for their trip to Parramatta on Thursday night.
It's a worrying scenario for Parramatta coach Brad Arthur, who says he is hopeful Foran will recover in time for their crucial season-opening match against the Broncos.
Foran would be a huge loss for Eels, with the New Zealand and Eels captain looming as the key component to his team's chances of making the finals for the first time since 2009.
Kiwis teammate and Broncos second-rower, Alex Glenn, says Brisbane are preparing as if Foran will be playing.
"He's a very experienced player. One thing he is really good at is taking the ball to the line and that is really hard to defend against," Glenn said.
"He is a leader in the team. His talk on the field is non-stop and that's what you want from your halfback.
"He'll be directing that pack and working really hard with Corey Norman who will just float off him.
"It will be up to Matt Gillett and I on that edge to shut Foran down. We'll make sure he has restricted time to play. It will benefit us defensively."
The job may not become much easier for Brisbane even if Foran is ruled out, with the Eels' massive forward pack looming as a huge challenge for the Broncos.
Parramatta starting forwards Junior Paulo, Tepai Moeroa and Tim Mannah all weigh in at 110kg or more – a daunting prospect for a much smaller Brisbane side.
Glenn believes Brisbane's tactics in defence will make up for any difference in size between the two teams.
"Our line speed is key. We have to make sure we are getting up off the line quickly so they can't build momentum," he said.
"We'll be making sure we have some strong first contact so they aren't breaking the line and making us commit more to the tackle.
"If you cover those areas it's going to slow the ruck play down and prevent their halves from receiving quick play the balls.
"We've watched a bit of footage and those boys do crash hard and run some great lines. It is up to us to lift our line speed and get in front of them as fast as we can."