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A desperate battle between 14th and 15th on the ladder and for the losing side the very real possibility of dropping to last should the Bulldogs manage to upset Souths on Sunday.

The Warriors have had any number of curve balls thrown at them since the competition resumed and their resolve was broken last weekend as the Storm piled on 50 points against them.

Life in Brisbane should be a cakewalk compared to what the Warriors are dealing with but five straight losses have left this proud club on their knees as the heat is turned up on coach Anthony Seibold and a star-studded roster playing like duds. 

Seibold will be sweating on the availability of big man Matt Lodge as he looks to keep the wolves from the door with a much-needed win.

The Rundown

Team news

Warriors: Todd Payten has oved veteran Kiwi Peta Hiku to fullback to replace Roger Tuivasa-Sheck after his one-week shoulder charge ban was upheld at the judiciary on Tuesday night. Gerard Beale comes off the extended reserves list into the centres to fill out the backline. Isaiah Papali'i has been elevated to the interchange bench in favour of Josh Curran, who was omitted on Friday.

Karl Lawton starts in the forward pack with Adam Blair returning to prop and Agnatius Paasi shifting to the bench. Panther Jack Hetherington is on the bench after striking a loan deal with the club. King Vuniyayawa and Adam Pompey were the players to be cut from the squad on game day. The Warriors have won four from five at Central Coast Stadium.

Broncos: The Broncos will be without Matt Lodge against the Warriors on Saturday night with the prop succumbing to a knee injury suffered against the Titans. Thomas Flegler - in his first game back from suspension - moves into the starting line-up with Corey Oates earning a reprieve on the bench after initially being named as a reserve.

Jamayne Isaako has earlier been named in Oates's usual spot on the wing. Pat Carrigan returns from suspension at lock in place of the suspended Joe Ofahengaue. Cory Paix was omitted on Friday and Richie Kennar and Jamil Hopoate were trimmed from the squad an hour before kick-off. The Broncos have lost both games on the Central Coast this season.

Key match-up

Kodi Nikorima v Brodie Croft. Up against his old side, Warriors pivot Nikorima will be determined to upstage Broncos halfback Croft, who is wearing his old No.7 jersey. Croft, like the whole Brisbane team, is under pressure to perform.

Stat attack

The Broncos have conceded an average of 29.8 points per match so far in 2020, while the Warriors are marginally better at 26. They’re first (Brisbane) and third (Warriors) in the competition in this category.