Roosters v Broncos: Keary a huge in for Roosters; Lodge to start
Wayne Bennett's Broncos know how to peak at the right time, with last Thursday's resounding 38-18 win over the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium a classic example.
With key off-season recruit Cooper Cronk firing, Trent Robinson's Roosters are the team many expect to be premiers come grand final day on September 30.
A last start 14-12 defeat at the hands of the Raiders won't rock the Tricolours, who remain a big chance of pipping Melbourne and South Sydney to the minor premiership.
Match: Roosters v Broncos
Round 24 -
Venue: Allianz Stadium
- Fox League
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
Key match up: Victor Radley v Josh McGuire. The Roosters youngster has gained a cult following with fans after a breakout season. The Clovelly Crocodiles junior hits like a missile in defence and is a future representative star. Radley will be tested big time by fellow lock McGuire, with the Queensland Origin representative the king of the niggle. McGuire will be aware if he limits the involvement of the Tricolours young gun, it could go a long way to deciding the outcome.
For the Roosters to win: Feed James Tedesco. The classy fullback is warming to the task at his new club, scoring eight tries in 20 appearances. He showed in Origin I for the Blues he is a big game player, so look for 'Teddy' to have a blinder this Saturday at Allianz Stadium. His personal duel against Darius Boyd will also be a ripper.
For the Broncos to win: Find Corey Oates. The flyer showed his class last start, nabbing a hat-trick against the Rabbitohs as well as chalking up six tackle busts and three line breaks. The man himself may fancy a career shift to the back-row, but coach Wayne Bennett knows Oates is more dynamic on the wing.
Roosters Stat Attack: Centre Latrell Mitchell has the most points in the competition after 23 rounds (200), just one point better than Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako (199). Cooper Cronk (260) has kicked more than any other player, with Anthony Milford (247) second in the standings. In-form winger Blake Ferguson comfortably is the yardstick when it comes to all runs (440) and run metres (4345).
Broncos Stat Attack: Corey Oates has 17 line breaks to his name, and pivot Anthony Milford has kicked an impressive 7532 kick metres to lead the standings ahead of Cooper Cronk (7462). Scheming halfback Kodi Nikorima has three intercepts, only trailing Titans finisher Anthony Don (4).
And another thing: Both teams will finish in the top eight, making this tussle a potential semi-final preview. With the Broncos chasing a top four finish and the hosts locked in a three-way battle for the minor premiership alongside the Storm and Rabbitohs, nothing will be left in the tank. Luke Keary could also be a massive inclusion for the Chooks.
Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James TedescoFullback for Broncos is number 1 Darius Boyd
Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel TupouWinger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
Centre for Roosters is number 3 Latrell MitchellCentre for Broncos is number 3 James Roberts
Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph ManuCentre for Broncos is number 4 Jordan Kahu
Winger for Roosters is number 5 Blake FergusonWinger for Broncos is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Luke KearyFive-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Cooper CronkHalfback for Broncos is number 7 Kodi Nikorima
Prop for Roosters is number 8 Dylan NapaProp for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Jake FriendHooker for Broncos is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Roosters is number 10 Siosiua TaukeiahoProp for Broncos is number 10 Sam Thaiday
2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Boyd Cordner2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Isaac Liu2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor RadleyLock for Broncos is number 13 Josh McGuire
Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Nat ButcherInterchange for Broncos is number 15 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Roosters is number 15 Zane TetevanoInterchange for Broncos is number 16 Korbin Sims
Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Mitchell AubussonInterchange for Broncos is number 17 David Fifita
Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Ryan MattersonInterchange for Broncos is number 18 Patrick Mago
Roosters: The Roosters are 1-17, with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Lindsay Collins, Sean O'Sullivan and Paul Momirovski dropping out of the 21-man squad named on Tuesday. Luke Keary (knee) is back at five-eighth and Ryan Matterson drops to the bench.
Broncos: Patrick Mago replaces Kotoni Staggs on the interchange. Josh McGuire and Anthony Milford will play despite battling illness during the week. Troy Dargan, Gehamat Shibasaki and Sam Tagataese were omitted from the initial 21-man squad.
Head-to-head: Played 47; Broncos 28 wins, Roosters 19 wins
Previous result: Broncos won 28-22 in round 11
Points per game: Roosters 22.3; Broncos 22.1
Points conceded per game: Roosters 15; Broncos 21.6
Televised: Live on Fox League
Petero Civoniceva's prediction: The Broncos found form in a big way last week against one of the premiership favourites and I have no doubt Wayne Bennett will have them primed for a repeat this week. The return of Luke Keary is huge for the Roosters and his battle with Anthony Milford should be a beauty. If the Broncos halves are on song and their fowards match Napa and Cordner and co then Brisbane can get home.
Tip: Broncos by 10.