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After winning just six games across the past two seasons, the Bulldogs had every right to be pumped up after outlasting the Cowboys in a dour round one struggle.

As coach Trent Barrett pointed out post-match, travelling to Townsville and coming away with the competition points is no easy task, especially for a team that hasn't played finals since 2016.

There's plenty of room for improvement for the Bulldogs and they'll need to take it up a notch against Brisbane, who are coming off an impressive upset win over the Rabbitohs.

Coach Kevin Walters will have been most pleased with his team's defensive resolve. A repeat of that would have them well on the way to going 2-0 to start the year.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Bulldogs v Broncos

The Rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: Tevita Pangai jnr is set to make his Bulldogs debut after missing round one with a hamstring injury. Corey Waddell moves to the bench and Chris Patolo to the reserves list. All four players who suffered head knocks in Townsvlle - Braidon Burns, Brent Naden, Jeremy Marshall-King and Patolo - have been named to play.

No changes to the squad in the 24-hour update on Saturday.

Broncos: Skipper Adam Reynolds' return from COVID sees Albert Kelly shift from halfback to five-eighth, Billy Walters goes to the interchange bench and Tyrone Roberts is out of the squad. Tesi Niu has recovered from a hamstring injury and takes over at fullback from Jamayne Isaako.

No changes to the squad in the 24-hour update on Saturday.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Matt Dufty
    Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Jayden Okunbor
    Winger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Braidon Burns
    Centre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Brent Naden
    Centre for Broncos is number 4 Herbie Farnworth
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Josh Addo-Carr
    Winger for Broncos is number 5 Selwyn Cobbo
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Matt Burton
    Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Albert Kelly
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Jake Averillo
    Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Adam Reynolds

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Paul Vaughan
    Prop for Broncos is number 8 Keenan Palasia
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
    Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Jake Turpin
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 15 Corey Waddell
    Prop for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Jack Hetherington
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Kurt Capewell
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
    2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Josh Jackson
    Lock for Broncos is number 13 Patrick Carrigan

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 8 Luke Thompson
    Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Ryan James
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Bailey Biondi-Odo
    Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Kobe Hetherington
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Max King
    Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Teui Robati
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Ava Seumanufagai
    Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Billy Walters

Reserves

  • Replacement for Bulldogs is number 25 Aaron Schoupp
    Replacement for Broncos is number 18 Brenko Lee

Match Officials

  • Referee: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
  • Touch Judge: Jon Stone
  • Touch Judge: Belinda Sharpe
  • Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy

Last updated:

Key match-up

Jake Averillo v Adam Reynolds: The young Bulldog tasted victory for just the seventh time in his 35-game career last Sunday and will have taken plenty of confidence out of the grinding win. With new recruit Matt Burton looking after the majority of the general play kicking, Averillo should relish the opportunity to take the line on more and play some off the cuff footy. Reynolds will be champing at the bit after missing round one due to COVID and his steadying hand and cool head will make the Broncos a more formidable opponent.

Stat attack

On the back of a morale-boosting 38-0 win over Wests Tigers in round 25 last year the Bulldogs made it two straight by downing the Cowboys in round one. The last time they won consecutive games in the same season was round 22-23 in 2019 against the Rabbitohs and Eels. The Broncos have not won back-to-back games since the opening two rounds of 2020 against the Cowboys and the Rabbitohs. 

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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