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Brisbane will finish the year without back-to-back wins but taking the scalp of a finals-bound opponent would give them something to take into the off-season.

The Broncos go into the final-round clash having won three of their past six, with an average margin of less than six in the losses and the wooden spoon safely back in the Bulldogs' keeping.

There are plenty of positives for coach Kevin Walters to take out of the past two months, with a number of young players stepping up plus a bonus in the form of a rejuvenated Anthony Milford who will be playing his final game with the club on Saturday.

Newcastle appear to have finally found form after an up-and-down season but Adam O'Brien won't be taking anything for granted despite a late-season surge that has sewn up seventh place with a game left to play. 

The rundown

Team news

Broncos: Jordan Riki will play after he was a late withdrawal last week with an ankle injury so TC Robati reverts to the bench.

Danny Levi and Jamayne Isaako drop off the extended bench. Brodie Croft is 18th man and Jesse Arthars is 19th man for the game which will be retiring captain Alex Glenn’s 285th and final NRL appearance for the Broncos.

Brodie Croft is 18th man with Jesse Arthars omitted from the reserves an hour before kick-off.

Departing Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford has scored seven tries in his past seven games against the Knights.

Knights: Representative second-rower Tyson Frizell has been rested for Newcastle, as they have sealed their spot in seventh for this year's finals series.

Sauaso Sue (hamstring) is a late withdrawal while Jayden Brailey, Mitch Barnett and Jacob Saifiti had already been given a break when the squad was announced on Tuesday. 

Josh King will start at prop and Jack Johns in the second row for Sue and Frizell with Pasami Saulo and Simi Sasagi joining the interchange.

Dominic Young was also omitted on Friday. Tex Hoy is 18th man. 

The Knights have won their past four games against the Broncos.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
    Fullback for Knights is number 1 Kalyn Ponga
  • Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
    Winger for Knights is number 2 Enari Tuala
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Selwyn Cobbo
    Centre for Knights is number 3 Kurt Mann
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
    Centre for Knights is number 4 Bradman Best
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Xavier Coates
    Winger for Knights is number 5 Starford To'a
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Anthony Milford
    Five-Eighth for Knights is number 6 Jake Clifford
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Albert Kelly
    Halfback for Knights is number 7 Mitchell Pearce

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Ethan Bullemor
    Prop for Knights is number 8 David Klemmer
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
    Hooker for Knights is number 9 Chris Randall
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
    Prop for Knights is number 16 Josh King
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Alex Glenn
    2nd Row for Knights is number 12 Brodie Jones
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki
    2nd Row for Knights is number 17 Jack Johns
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Kobe Hetherington
    Lock for Knights is number 13 Connor Watson

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Cory Paix
    Interchange for Knights is number 14 Phoenix Crossland
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 David Mead
    Interchange for Knights is number 15 Jirah Momoisea
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Rhys Kennedy
    Interchange for Knights is number 19 Pasami Saulo
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Teui Robati
    Interchange for Knights is number 21 Simi Sasagi

Reserves

  • Reserve for Broncos is number 19 Brodie Croft
    Reserve for Knights is number 20 Tex Hoy

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Darian Furner
  • Touch Judge: Todd Smith
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Anthony Milford v Jake Clifford: Souths-bound Milford has burst into form at the death after being dropped repeatedly by Broncos coach Kevin Walters this season. He couldn't orchestrate a win against Cronulla but poses a live threat with his kicking game and aggressive running. Clifford came to Newcastle in a mid-season move and after taking time to find his feet has formed a potent partnership with veteran half Mitchell Pearce. 

Stat attack

It's either feast or famine when one of these sides gets the upper hand. Brisbane have lost their past four encounters with Newcastle after having come out on top in the previous six contests. 

 

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