Thu, May 5, 12:40pm by Kevin Pitstock
This is the first match of the NRL competition this week with the ANZAC Test as well as City vs Country being played on the Friday night. There are only 4 matches in total this week, meaning it should be incredibly easy to tip the round. Unfortunately this is not the case as a lot of the teams this weekend will have players either not playing or backing up after the 2 representative games.
In this match both teams have 5 players in the ANZAC test. There is a little bit of a psychological battle of the coaches here, with Griffin naming none of his players on the official team list, and Bellamy doing the complete opposite by naming all of them.
Both teams are coming off a win here, with the Broncos getting their 7th straight win against the Bulldogs last Friday 20-12, and the Storm pumbling the Knights into the ground at home in a 42-12 win. This will be an interesting battle.
I would name the Test representatives but most of them are a good chance of backing up.
As above RE: Test Representatives
So the Broncos did what no team could do last year by winning 7 straight games. This was another win that was characteristic of the Broncos in 2011, with less than 40 points scored in total and a nice 1-12 victory. The Broncos defence has been rock solid this year, which is a good sign for many reasons. I discussed some of these reasons in last week’s article, however another to add to this is representative season. When a team has great defence they can get by without some of their key players, especially if they are not in defensive positions. The Broncos are missing Yow Yeh, Hodges, Lockyer, Hennant and Sam Thaiday. This is a mix of players all from different positions on the team, if the players that may or may not slot in can defend then they are a good chance of doing 8 in a row.
Although Coach Griffin has not named any of the players from the Test in the Broncos side I highly doubt he will follow through. Thaiday and Hennant love to play footy, and as long as they don’t pick up any injuries they will be good. Yow Yeh is a young bloke as well, he would still be used to running around the day after a big match. The only two I am worried about is Hodges and Lockyer. Hodges has had a bad ruin with injuries in recent seasons so I doubt Griffin will risk the fatigue causing another. Lockyer is 34, so his old bones will probably need some resting time, I will be impressed if he can manage to back up.
The Big 3 for the Storm have all been selected to play for Australia on Friday, however Bellamy would make these boys take the pitch on Saturday even if they had arthritis. The other 2 representatives are playing for the Kiwis, this is Adam Blair and Ryan Duffie, who will also almost certainly play. This means that the Storm will be fielding 5 fatigued players as an almost certainty.
The Storm have an advantage though, with Cronk only starting off the bench so it shouldn’t be any more draining than a normal training session for him.
The Storm have not been travelling well over the last 12 months. A lot of this could come down to their scandal last year, however this year 1 of their 2 losses came from an absolute flogging at the hands of the Cowboys. The Broncos are a better outfit than the Cowboys so from this the Storm will have to give it a fair crack if they want to win.
The Broncos love a Saturday night Suncorp match, and what better way to do it than celebrating a win over the Kiwis. After having a think about it I think that Lockyer is actually a good chance of playing in this one as Cronk will be substituted for a fair bit of the ANZAC test, allowing Lockyer to back up. The Broncos will get up 1-12.
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