NRL Round 17 – Match 1 Preview: Brisbane Broncos v Wests Tigers

Round 17 kicks off with a sensational clash at Suncorp Stadium between the in-form Broncos and the highly ranked Wests Tigers on Friday night.

After a struggling start to the season, Brisbane are back on track and firing on all cylinders having won their past six from seven games including their gritty 10 – 6 win ahead of the Eels last week.

The Broncos face some tough competition playing the Tigers this week, Wests currently sitting in the third spot on the ladder. The Tigers enjoyed a four-game winning streak before being beaten 34 – 10 by the Dragons last round.

This is a really tough game to pick and will be a great showdown between a team bursting to get in the top four and a team desperate to stay there.

The young, rising stars in the Brisbane club will have to put in their all this week as three of their best are away at Origin camp: skipper Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday and the flying Israel Folau. This is a bit of a blow for the Broncos as they face a Tigers outfit untouched by Origin.

Despite having the home ground advantage, the weakened Broncos will start as the underdogs, currently paying $2.45 for a win through Ladbrokes.com.au. The bookies are confident the Tigers have the strength and skill to win in Brisbane, Ladbrokes.com.au currently paying $1.55 for them to win.

Tricky to choose between the young guns lead by Ben Te’o who have risen to the challenge of playing without their Origin stars before, and a team that are at nearly full strength but looked a little off last week and have Beau Ryan out with injury.

We will go out on a limb and say the Broncos to lift their game and win, but they will have to watch Marshall and Farah who will look to take advantage out wide. Brisbane thrashed a full-strength Tigers team during Origin time back in 2002, and they can do it again.

Broncos have won their past four games against this side in a row, and will be keen to maintain this record and expose whether the Tigers really are a top four team.

Current Head-to-Head Odds:

Broncos $2.45 – Tigers $1.55 Ladbrokes.com.au

Round 17 Broncos Team:

1. Josh Hoffman 2. Jharal Yow Yeh 3. Matt Gillett 4. Ben Te’o 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Corey Norman 7. Peter Wallace 8. Shane Tronc 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Nick Kenny 11. Ashton Sims 12. Lagi Setu 13. Corey Parker

Bench: 14. Ben Hunt 15. Mitchell Dodds 16. Scott Anderson 17. Josh McGuire

Round 17 Tigers Team:

1. Wade McKinnon 2. Lote Tuqiri 3. Blake Ayshford 4. Chris Lawrence 5. Geoff Daniela 6. Benji Marshall 7. Daniel Fitzhenry 8. Bryce Gibbs 9. Robbie Farah 10. Keith Galloway 11. Todd Payten 12. Gareth Ellis 13. Chris Heighington

Bench: 14. Andrew Fifita 15. Liam Fulton 16. Simon Dwyer 17. Mitch Brown

Reserve: 18. Nathan Waters