It all comes down to the next fortnight for a desperate young Broncos side who are at serious risk of ruining their chances of making it 19 straight finals appearances, their plight tougher still as they travel across the Tasman to play the Warriors tonight.
Currently in eighth spot on the ladder, Brisbane need to win at least one and better still both of their end of season games to play in the semis.
They are without Lockyer again this week and coming off back-to-back losses. They were thrashed by the Knights 44 – 18 last week and really need to lift their game, last a full 80 minutes and step up in defence to stop the high-flying Warriors from posting a similar amount of points over them.
New Zealand dropped down into seventh spot on the ladder after going down in a close match to the Sea Eagles last week, but still look fairly safe of making it to September especially if they win this.
Warriors have the home ground advantage and a more confident side here and are also the pronounced favourites at $1.52 through Ladbrokes.com.au while Brisbane are out to $2.60.
The Broncos will be more nervous still as they think back to Round 3 when the Warriors won 48 – 16 over them.
We love Brisbane and want them in the Top 8 but it really is hard to go past New Zealand in this one even though they will play without Michael Luck after he suffered a nasty leg gash last week.
To atone for Luck, however, the Warriors get back Kevin Locke and Lewis Brown.
Won’t be a blow out like many expect, but a close gritty showdown with the Warriors to narrowly win and continue Corey Parker’s shocking record when taking over as skipper.
Footy Tip of the Match – Warriors to win by 1 – 6 points at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au
Current Head-to-Head Odds:
Warriors $1.52 – Broncos $2.60 Ladbrokes.com.au
NRLleague Footy Tip of the Match:
Brisbane will be fired up after their big loss last week and will want to honour a still sidelined Lockyer, but they won’t win. This is why we are tipping a close game with the Warriors to win by 1 – 6 points at $6 through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Round 25 Warriors Team:
1. Lance Hohaia 2. Kevin Locke 3. Brent Tate 4. Joel Moon 5. Manu Vatuvei 6. James Maloney 7. Brett Seymour 8. Sam Rapira 9. Aaron Heremaia 10. Russell Packer 11. Simon Mannering 12. Lewis Brown 13. Jacob Lillyman
Bench: 14. Alehana Mara 15. Ben Matulino 16. Ukuma Ta’ai 17. Jesse Royal
Reserve: 18. Sione Lousi
Round 25 Broncos Team:
1. Josh Hoffman 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Alex Glenn 4. Israel Folau 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Corey Norman 7. Peter Wallace 8. Shane Tronc 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Ben Te’o 11. Matt Gillett 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker
Bench: 14. Ben Hunt 15. Josh McGuire 16. Mitchell Dodds 17. Scott Anderson
Reserve: 18. Nick Kenny