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Brisbane are languishing in 15th place and looking for answers but the red-hot Rabbitohs will show up at Suncorp bearing nothing but questions for Kevin Walters and co.

The Broncos have lost three on the trot by an average of 43 points and their prospects of avoiding a 12th loss this season look grim against a Souths side back on track thanks, in large part, to their lethal left edge.

But it's not just flimsy defence hampering Walters and his team. Brisbane have scored more than 18 points only four times in 2021 and registered a paltry six points on another four occasions - output that is just not going to cut it against a team averaging 26 points a game over the season and capable of so much more on any given day.

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The Rabbitohs, who comfortably handled the Knights last round, are on a mission to distance themselves from a horror fortnight which saw them concede 50 points or more to the top two teams, Melbourne and Penrith.

The rundown

Team news

Broncos: TC Robati starts at lock, with Tom Flegler to come off the bench. Cory Paix also replaces Keenan Palasia on the interchange with Palasia the new 18th man.

Winger Xavier Coates returns to the side. Karmichael Hunt gets another run at five-eighth with playmaker Albert Kelly battling a hamstring strain which is expected to sideline him for at least another week.

Jordan Riki and Rhys Kennedy were the first two players cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off, with Dale Copley dropping out an hour before kick-off.

The Broncos have won four of their past five games against the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.

Rabbitohs: Blake Taaffe is set to make his debut off the bench, with Braidon Burns moving back to 18th man.

Dane Gagai and Jai Arrow have been cleared to make a return after being rested last week following Origin and injury scares.

Damien Cook and Cameron Murray will also return after not backing up from Origin last week.

Veteran utility Benji Marshall drops out of the squad completely, along with debutant dummy-half Peter Mamouzelos, while Jacob Host and Hame Sele slide back to the interchange. 

Liam Knight and Josh Mansour were the first two players omitted from the squad 24 hours before kick-off, with Jaydn Su'A omitted on game day.

Wayne Bennett will coach his 200th game at Suncorp Stadium.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
    Fullback for Rabbitohs is number 1 Latrell Mitchell
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 2 Alex Johnston
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Herbie Farnworth
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 3 Dane Gagai
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Jesse Arthars
    Centre for Rabbitohs is number 4 Campbell Graham
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Selwyn Cobbo
    Winger for Rabbitohs is number 5 Taane Milne
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Karmichael Hunt
    Five-Eighth for Rabbitohs is number 6 Cody Walker
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Tyson Gamble
    Halfback for Rabbitohs is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 8 Mark Nicholls
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Rabbitohs is number 9 Damien Cook
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Rabbitohs is number 10 Tevita Tatola
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 11 Keaon Koloamatangi
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
    2nd Row for Rabbitohs is number 12 Jai Arrow
  • Lock for Broncos is number 17 TC Robati
    Lock for Rabbitohs is number 13 Cameron Murray

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 13 Thomas Flegler
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 15 Hame Sele
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Kobe Hetherington
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 16 Thomas Burgess
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 John Asiata
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 17 Jacob Host
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 18 Cory Paix
    Interchange for Rabbitohs is number 18 Blake Taaffe

Reserves

  • Reserve for Broncos is number 16 Keenan Palasia
    Reserve for Rabbitohs is number 14 Braidon Burns

Match Officials

  • Referee: Adam Gee
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Senior Review Official: Alan Shortall

Last updated:

Key match-up

Selwyn Cobbo v Alex Johnston: The Broncos second-gamer scored his first NRL try in the loss to Canberra but Cobbo has next to no time to bask in the glow of his breakthrough with Johnston, No.2 on the try-scoring table, coming to town.

Johnston registered his first hat-trick of the season, and seventh of his career, against the Knights last round to briefly gain a share of the try-scoring lead with Josh Addo-Carr on 15 four-pointers. Cody Walker, Latrell Mitchell and Dane Gagai will ensure AJ receives multiple opportunities to add to his tally.

Stat attack

Try-scoring No.2 Alex Johnston, second by just one four-pointer, is tops in the NRL for line breaks - and in this category it's not even close. Johnston (22) leads second-placed Reuben Garrick by six with Josh Addo-Carr another line break back in equal third.

 

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