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The Broncos will be trying to put the smile back on coach Kevin Walters' face and prove him wrong in his assessment of them being physically and mentally "soft" in their capitulation to Manly last week.

But in trying to turn around that 44-point loss, one team the Broncos would least like to meet is the Roosters who are scoring an average 28 points per game.

Despite losing such key members like Jake Friend,  Luke Keary, Brett Morris, and Lindsay Collins - all Origin players - Trent Robinson's men can still send shivers down the spine of most teams with just three losses in 10 games to date.

The Roosters turned a 31-18 loss against the Eels into a 30-16 win over the high-flying Cowboys in the space of a week.

The rundown

Team news

Roosters: Teen prodigy Joseph Suaalii will start in the centres after Josh Morris was omitted an hour before kick-off. It will be a much-anticipated debut for the 17-year-old.

Trent Robinson confirmed on Thursday that Suaalii would play.

"It's been really clear to all of us that Joseph has been ready for the last few weeks, and it's time for him to start his journey in the NRL this weekend," Robinson said. 

Egan Butcher will be the 18th man.

Forwards Sitili Tupouniua and Angus Crichton are free to play after being assessed with fines following their high tackle and dangerous contact charges.

Daniel Suluka-Fifita and Naufahu Whyte were the first two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off and Fletcher Baker came onto the bench.

The Roosters scored 117 points in home and away wins over the Broncos in 2020 and fullback James Tedesco has scored eight tries in his past seven games at the SCG.

Broncos: Super League returnee Albert Kelly is the new five-eighth after coach Kevin Walters again lost patience with inconsistent playmaker Anthony Milford in the wake of Brisbane's humiliating loss to Manly.

Centre Herbie Farnworth was forced out by hamstring tightness on Friday with Dale Copley into the starting side after the Broncos were granted an exemption to add Richard Kennar to their 21-man squad.

Kennar was omitted an hour before kick-off with Teui Robati the 18th man.

In other changes, last week's 18th man Keenan Palasia will add to the two career games he played in 2019 as the replacement for suspended back-rower Jordan Riki, David Mead comes on to one wing in place of former Origin star Corey Oates, and hooker Kobe Hetherington, son of former Origin rake Jason, has been named to make his NRL debut off the bench.

Brendan Piakura and Danny Levi dropped out of the squad 24 hours before kick-off.

The Broncos, who have not won in Sydney since round 16, 2019 and have lost 14 consecutive games away from Suncorp Stadium, have another opportunity to claim the 500th win in the club’s history.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Roosters is number 1 James Tedesco
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Jamayne Isaako
  • Winger for Roosters is number 2 Daniel Tupou
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Xavier Coates
  • Centre for Roosters is number 4 Joseph Manu
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Jesse Arthars
  • Centre for Roosters is number 21 Joseph Suaalii
    Centre for Broncos is number 19 Dale Copley
  • Winger for Roosters is number 5 Matt Ikuvalu
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 David Mead
  • Five-Eighth for Roosters is number 6 Lachlan Lam
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Albert Kelly
  • Halfback for Roosters is number 7 Sam Walker
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Tyson Gamble

Forwards

  • Prop for Roosters is number 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
  • Hooker for Roosters is number 9 Ben Marschke
    Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
  • Prop for Roosters is number 10 Isaac Liu
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 11 Angus Crichton
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Keenan Palasia
  • 2nd Row for Roosters is number 12 Sitili Tupouniua
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
  • Lock for Roosters is number 13 Victor Radley
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 Thomas Flegler

Interchange

  • Interchange for Roosters is number 14 Adam Keighran
    Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Kobe Hetherington
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 16 Nat Butcher
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 John Asiata
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 17 Siosiua Taukeiaho
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Ethan Bullemor
  • Interchange for Roosters is number 19 Fletcher Baker
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Rhys Kennedy

Reserves

  • Reserve for Roosters is number 20 Egan Butcher
    Reserve for Broncos is number 18 TC Robati

Match Officials

  • Referee: Peter Gough
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Touch Judge: Keiren Irons
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Angus Crichton v Tevita Pangai jnr: Considering the former has made 27 tackle busts to the latter's 28, that's a contest worth watching.

Crichton upped the ante a little last weekend, scoring a double to add to the impressive 133 metres he makes per game. But Pangai jnr has popped 26 offloads this year, or more than double that of Crichton.

Stat attack

The Broncos have won three of their past six contests with the Roosters dating back to 2018, but suffered two heavy losses last year. The 59-0 loss in June 2020 remains the club's biggest in the NRL.

 

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