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The headlines may focused on next season's roster changes at Cronulla but in the meantime they are well in the finals hunt for 2021, winning their past four games to propel themselves into the top eight.

A halfback apparently unwanted next year and a coach warming the seat for Craig Fitzgibbon's arrival have helped guide the Sharks to wins over the Dragons, Titans, Panthers and Cowboys in the past month, and they are the favourites to make it five from five here.

The Broncos are in a battle to avoid a second straight wooden spoon, with star forward Tevita Pangai jnr told he can leave and the club parting ways with recruitment chief Peter Nolan and head of performance Andrew Croll.

No team is more in need of a morale boost than Brisbane, and despite the form line there is enough talent in the home team to spring an upset here.

The rundown

Team news

Broncos: A late switch an hour before game time wiith Jordan Riki added to the bench and Cory Paix going back to 18th man.

Matt Lodge won't play after making an immediate switch to the Warriors on Thursday. His place in the front row is taken by Rhys Kennedy.

Kotoni Staggs replaces Jesse Arthars in the centres for his first game this year, with Arthars dropping to the interchange, while Jamayne Isaako and Corey Oates come in for Xavier Coates and Selwyn Cobbo on the wings.

With Tevita Pangai jnr suspended, rookie TC Robati shifts to the second row and Kobe Hetherington is lock. John Asiata (neck) is replaced on the bench by Keenan Palasia while Ethan Bullemor also joins the bench.

Brodie Croft (knee) comes in at halfback with Tyson Gamble switching to five-eighth and veteran Karmichael Hunt sidelined by a calf injury picked up at training.

The Broncos have won six of their past seven games against the Sharks.

Sharks: Matt Moylan injured his calf in the warm-up and is out of the side, with his place taken by Braydon Trindall.

Will Chambers will miss the trip to Brisbane to be with his wife in Melbourne who is due to give birth. The backline reshuffle sees Connor Tracey move to centre and Sione Katoa come in on the wing.

Teig Wilton has been promoted to the starting side and Siosifa Talakai goes to the bench.

Andrew Fifita was cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Mawene Hiroti joined the bench when Moylan dropped out. Bill Magoulias is 18th man.

The Sharks are aiming for five straight wins for the first time since 2018.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
    Fullback for Sharks is number 1 William Kennedy
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
    Winger for Sharks is number 5 Ronaldo Mulitalo
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
    Centre for Sharks is number 2 Connor Tracey
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
    Centre for Sharks is number 4 Jesse Ramien
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
    Winger for Sharks is number 19 Sione Katoa
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Tyson Gamble
    Five-Eighth for Sharks is number 14 Braydon Trindall
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Brodie Croft
    Halfback for Sharks is number 7 Shaun Johnson

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Sharks is number 8 Aiden Tolman
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Sharks is number 9 Blayke Brailey
  • Prop for Broncos is number 19 Rhys Kennedy
    Prop for Sharks is number 10 Aaron Woods
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 11 Briton Nikora
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Teui Robati
    2nd Row for Sharks is number 15 Teig Wilton
  • Lock for Broncos is number 15 Kobe Hetherington
    Lock for Sharks is number 13 Toby Rudolf

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Keenan Palasia
    Interchange for Sharks is number 12 Siosifa Talakai
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Jesse Arthars
    Interchange for Sharks is number 16 Jack Williams
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 18 Jordan Riki
    Interchange for Sharks is number 17 Braden Hamlin-Uele
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 22 Ethan Bullemor
    Interchange for Sharks is number 21 Mawene Hiroti

Reserves

  • Reserve for Broncos is number 14 Cory Paix
    Reserve for Sharks is number 18 Billy Magoulias

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ben Cummins
  • Senior Review Official: Chris Butler

Last updated:

Key match-up

Herbie Farnworth v Jesse Ramien: Both these clubs are already looking to the future and there's plenty of potential in these talented young centres, with Farnworth making a club-high seven line breaks this season while Ramien's 53 tackle breaks are the most of any centre in the NRL. If the game is in the balance either one of these wide men is capable of producing something out of nothing.

Stat attack

He's still without a contract for next year but Shaun Johnson remains one of the league's most well-credentialed playmakers – with the former Four Nations and Golden Boot winner providing 26 try assists from 22 games across the past two seasons. The main downside for the Kiwis star has been durability, with Johnson playing 20 or more games in a season just once since 2015.

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