Anthony Seibold could never have envisaged what the Broncos are going through when he joined the club in the off-season.
Seibold probably thought he was taking the reins of a top-four team but here we are after 15 rounds and Brisbane are languishing in 14th spot with five wins.
Last week the Broncos had a chance to get back in the finals race but they were no match for a Knights team that was good but not great and without the services of Kalyn Ponga.
It's anyone's guess how they will perform this week.
The Sharks suffered a shock loss to the Bulldogs last week and will be itching to get back on track against a team struggling for confidence.
Match: Sharks v Broncos
Round 16 -
Venue: PointsBet Stadium, Sydney
Sharks:Cronulla will run out as named on Tuesday. Kurt Capewell starts in the back row for NSW rep Wade Graham with Kyle Flanagan called up on the bench. Aaron Woods starts at prop after getting through his injury return via the bench last week with Jack Williams dropping to the bench. Scott Sorensen and Blayke Brailey were trimmed from the reserves on Saturday while Billy Magoulias and Aaron Gray dropped off on game day.
Broncos: Anthony Milford (knee) and Richie Kennar (shoulder) are out injured while Corey Oates, David Fifita, Matt Gillett and Joe Ofahengaue are all on Origin duty. Darius Boyd returns to fullback, Jake Turpin starts in the halves, Herbie Farnsworth and Xavier Coates both debut on the wings, Alex Glenn and Thomas Flegler join the starting pack with Tevita Pangai jnr shifting from lock to second row. James Segeyaro, Rhys Kennedy and debutant Keenan Palasia are the new names on the pine. Cory Paix and Patrick Mago were pruned from the reserves on Saturday while Shaun Fensom and Izaia Perese dropped out on game day.
Match: Sharks v Broncos
Round 16 -
Fullback for Sharks is number 1 Matt MoylanFullback for Broncos is number 1 Darius Boyd
Winger for Sharks is number 2 Sosaia FekiWinger for Broncos is number 2 Herbie Farnworth
Centre for Sharks is number 3 Bronson XerriCentre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
Centre for Sharks is number 4 Josh MorrisCentre for Broncos is number 4 Gehamat Shibasaki
Winger for Sharks is number 5 Josh DuganWinger for Broncos is number 5 Xavier Coates
Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 6 Shaun JohnsonFive-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Jake Turpin
Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Chad TownsendHalfback for Broncos is number 7 Sean O'Sullivan
Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aaron WoodsProp for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Jayden BraileyHooker for Broncos is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Sharks is number 10 Matt PriorProp for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
2nd Row for Sharks is number 12 Kurt Capewell2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
Lock for Sharks is number 13 Paul GallenLock for Broncos is number 13 Thomas Flegler
Interchange for Sharks is number 14 Kyle FlanaganInterchange for Broncos is number 14 James Segeyaro
Interchange for Sharks is number 15 Jayson BukuyaInterchange for Broncos is number 15 Rhys Kennedy
Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack WilliamsInterchange for Broncos is number 17 Patrick Carrigan
Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-UeleInterchange for Broncos is number 18 Keenan Palasia
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
The Boyd-Milford swap was a failure and it'll be interesting to see if Seibold sticks with the same strategy on Sunday. Either way, whoever gets the nod to play fullback will have to out-play Matt Moylan, while Chad Townsend should be looking to take Broncos rookie Tom Dearden to halfback school.
For the Sharks to win
Last week's loss to the Doggies should've provided a jolting wake-up call - one that should last for the rest of the season. The Sharks need to be ready to meet Brisbane head-on in the forwards, while Townsend, Moylan and Shaun Johnson have to pick their spots to put their respective stamps on the game. The Sharks need to play with more energy after last week's lethargic effort.
For the Broncos to win
As captain and his team's most experienced player, Darius Boyd has to get the Broncos all on the same page, especially with players reportedly unhappy about the mid-season exodus of teammates to other clubs. Boyd also needs help from Andrew McCullough, while some of the younger players have to grow up fast if Brisbane are going to make a last-ditch run at the finals.
Brett Kimmorley says
The Sharks were horrendous last week and the coach wasn’t very happy with them. The Broncos are way out of sorts and now they lose some of their better players to Origin. It is a big moment for Darius Boyd to provide some leadership and give the players who come in the belief that they can win. It is going to take him for the kids at Brisbane to get some experience. Sharks by 12
Both these teams have struggled to convert attacking chances into points this year, despite possessing some of the most talented ball-runners in the game. Both the Sharks and Broncos rank in the top four in the NRL in tackle breaks, but Cronulla have scored fewer points than any other top-eight side and Brisbane rank 14th in points scored.
And another thing ...
Brisbane have had the wood on Cronulla of late, winning their past five meetings. They beat them 29-6 at Suncorp Stadium earlier this year and defeated them twice in both 2017 and 2018 – despite the Sharks finishing alongside them on the ladder in both years. Corey Oates scored tries in each one of those wins, including the opening try in the two most recent clashes.