Wed, Mar 30, 5:32pm by Kevin Pitstock
This is the last time this year there will be a first and second NRL game on a Friday as the Blues and Victorians wind their clocks back an hour, meaning all Friday matches will be played simultaneously.
In this match up we see the Bustling Broncos come up against the fledgling Panthers side. The Bronco’s started the season with a poor loss against the Cowboys, then surprised everyone against the Raiders in week 2 and have now solidified their position on the ladder with a convincing win over the Titans.
The Panthers have yo-yoed for the first 3 weeks, going down, up and then down again. Their 2 losses have been 2 of the worst performances of any side in the competition, that’s not a 1-2 combination that any coach wants, and this is part of the reason Elliot has been shown half of the door, with the other half certainly coming in 8 weeks.
The Broncos have a very impressive record against the Panthers overall, winning 27 and losing 14 (1 draw). However at Suncorp stadium the Panthers are going good with 5 wins from 12 attempts. Last time they met was round 15, which is a weekend the Broncos are without all of their Origin stars. The Panthers got up 22-12.
Brisbane Broncos Preview
Anthony Griffin has drawn blood out of a stone with a vastly inexperienced and green Brisbane Broncos team. After week 1 they were finalist write offs after they were pipped by the Cowboys. Since then they have managed to turn it around and due to good for and against they are sitting pretty at 3rd on the ladder.
This is sure to drop throughout the season due to Origin commitments, as well as the fact that a lot of these players won’t be able to handle both the mental and physical strain of 26 rounds of top level Rugby League Football. Whilst the season is still fresh though, we can expect good things from them.
The Broncos made it look hard against the titans, only taking the lead for the first time in the 71st minute through a Justin Hodges try, then holding on to win 14-8. Hodges played well considering he hasn’t turned in a performance in over 550 days, he moved good and left some defenders second guessing when he had the ball. With only 43% of possession the Broncos showed true character to stay in the game and eventually take home the points.
Penrith Panthers Preview
I remember after the first round I went through the Panther’s statistics and explained how atrocious they were…. Well here we go again; 65% completion, 1121 attacking metres 64 missed tackles and 15 errors. Overall they are not as bad as Round 1 (it would be difficult for any team to top that effort throughout the rest of the season) but they are still bad enough to make mention of. 65 missed takles is actually a lot worse than week 1, you can’t expect any team to win a match with 65 missed tackles though. I find it a bit rough for Panther’s management to Call for the Guillotine for Matt Elliot after just 3 weeks, especially after they finished 2nd on the NRL ladder last season (albeit losing in weeks 1 and 2 of the finals). Unfortunately for Elliot this is the reality and I think its time to start looking for greener pastures.
Whether it’s the Reds, Roar, Cain Toads, Wallabies or the Kangaroos playing at Suncorp, the home team always seems to enjoy a very favourable winning record. This trend continues with the Broncos, so far they have only played here once and are 0 and 1. They will be making this 1-1 this week against a less than pathetic Panthers team. One thing going around NRL on Fox at the moment is the Bounce Back Factor (BBF). In brief a team gets beaten in an upset after playing poorly, then bounces back to play a completely different style to the preceding week. I have noticed this happen quite a lot over the last few seasons with a lot of teams, the Panthers did this last year and ended up 2nd on the ladder. The BBF will lead to a closer match then most would think, but I still like the Bronco’s 1-12.
Sportsbet Australia as well as Centrebet have the best H2H odds in this match for the Broncos, paying $1.38 at both. Once again Sportingbet has the best margin odds with 1-12 paying $3.15. If both Friday night margins are succesfully tipped (Broncos and Eagles 1-12) the best payout is through Sportingbet paying $9.92 to one.
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