NRL Round 10 – Match 1 Preview: Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans

The opening game of Round 10 is one of the most interesting and highly anticipated matches as a Queensland derby showdown is set to take place when the Brisbane Broncos host the Gold Coast Titans at Suncorp Stadium.

There are so many factors that make this game such an intriguing and intense one, namely the smashing performance the Broncos put in last week when they claimed a shock 36 – 14 win ahead of the Storm.

Hands down it was the Broncos best game this season and has many asking whether it was a one match wonder or if the Brissy boys are on their way to a mid-season comeback, now just two wins in limbo of an appearance in the top eight this year.

This game will answer exactly that as they face their fellow Queensland rivals, the Titans, who have been super consistent this season and now sit at number two on the ladder for their efforts.

While the Broncos still have a LOT of work to do, currently at number 13, the Gold Coast’s big goal now is to maintain their dominance in the competition that has seen them win seven from nine, equalling the number of competition points amassed by the Dragons.

Previously the Titans have struggled when playing away from their beloved Skilled Park, but this year they have been able to secure some good wins as the visitors like their Round 7 win ahead of the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

Brisbane’s win in Round 9 was even more impressive as they played Melbourne in their new AAMI Park stadium and they will be happy to have the home ground advantage back in their favour this week.

So what else affects this game? Broncos skipper Darren Lockyer has been brilliant over the last couple of weeks, but will his brilliance fade as he plays his third game in just seven days? If the Titans hone in on the Kangaroos captain and target him things could get a little messy.

Brisbane, however, despite the overall inexperience in first grade footy of many of the younger players do have some real quality players out there who are going to back Lockyer up all the way including Corey Parker, who is playing in his 200th NRL game on Friday.

Also veteran halfback Peter Wallace is back in action so young Corey Norman becomes the 18th man.

Then there is the fact that the Titans are coming off a very short turnaround after playing on Sunday, but if they stay focused and come with a plan as they have been all season they should still be good enough to secure their eighth season win.

The Gold Coast are a talented and dedicated team and even though there are lingering doubts over Preston Campbell, they have Princey back in red hot form and should be able to hold off the home team so long as they stay on top of their goal-line defence.

So, despite Brisbane’s fleeting return to form last week, we will stick with the $1.95 underdogs and back the Titans here in what is sure to be a high scoring match.

The last three times these teams have met 50 or more points have been scored between them each match, so the crowd should see points flying onto the board.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Broncos $1.87 – Titans $1.95

Round 10 Brisbane Team:

1. Josh Hoffman 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Alex Glenn 4. Israel Folau 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Peter Walalce 8. Shane Tronc 9. Ben Hunt 10. Lagi Setu 11. Ben Te’o 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker

Bench: 14. Gerard Beale 15. Matt Gillett 16. Mitchell Dodds 17. Nick Kenny

Reserves: 18. Corey Norman

Round 10 Titans Team:

1. Preston Campbell (?) 2. David Mead 3. Clinton Toopi 4. Joseph Tomane 5. Kevin Gordon 6. Greg Bird 7. Scott Prince 8. Luke Bailey 9. Nathan Friend 10. Brad Meyers 11. Anthony Laffranchi 12. Mark Minichiello 13. Ashley Harrison

Bench: 14. Michael Henderson 15. Sam Tagataese 16. Matt White 17. William Zillman