NRL Round 12 – Match 3 Preview: Cronulla Sharks v Brisbane Broncos

On Saturday arvo the Brisbane Broncos are travelling down to Toyota Stadium, where they will face off against the Sharks.

Just outside the top eight at the moment in 10th position, the Broncos have recently revamped their season after suffering six losses in the opening eight rounds. Starting to gel as a team, Brisbane managed to defeat Melbourne in round nine before trumping the Titans in round 10, enjoying their first two consecutive wins of the year.

Last week the Broncos had a bye, but did it come at the wrong time stopping their momentum? And how will their star Maroon players Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday and Israel Folau back up after a stirring game one Origin win on Wednesday?

The boys say they are fit and ready to fight, and they will have to be taking on the newly confident Cronulla down in Shark Park. The Sharks had a good win last week ahead of Eels, and although they are struggling to really make an impact this season there are many reasons why they could make it two from two on Saturday.

Firstly, a number of Cronulla’s top players were overlooked for Origin this year, namely Paul Gallen and Trent Barrett, and both will be keen to put in eye catching performances and show that they were worthy of a Blues jersey.

And although Brisbane have won their last two, they have still only managed four wins in total this season, one more than the Sharks, so the nation’s confidence in them is still on hold. Even so, Ladbrokes.com.au have the Broncos as the favourites paying $1.67, while the Sharks are out to $2.25.

We like the Broncos too, the Origin boys running on a high from their big win and brimming with confidence. Hopefully they can slot back into Brisbane with ease and lead the young guns to their third straight win. Also, Sharks coach Ricky Stuart announced his resignation for the end of the season, so Cronulla will be shaking a little from this.

When these two met back in round six the Broncos enjoyed their biggest win of the season thrashing Cronulla 44 – 16, and although we don’t think the score will be quite as big this time, with Lockyer’s leadership, Folau flying down the field and Thaiday, Te’o and Parker bringing plenty of passion and hard hits, the Broncos look the pick.

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Sharks $2.25 – Broncos $1.67 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 12 Sharks Team:

1. Nathan Gardner 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Dean Collis 4. Taulima Tautai 5. Isaac Gordon 6. Trent Barrett (c) 7. Tim Smith 8. Kade Snowden 9. John Morris 10. Luke Douglas 11. Grant Millington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen

Bench: 14. Adam Cuthbertson 15. Broderick Wright 16. Paul Aiton 17. Siosaia Vave

Round 12 Broncos Team:

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

Bench: 14. Andrew McCullough 15. Matt Gillett 16. Mitchell Dodds 17. Nick Kenny

Reserves: 18. Ashton Sims 19. Corey Norman 20. Gerard Beale