Can the Warriors turn their form around?
Put simply, NEW ZEALAND has been putrid the last fortnight in defeats to the Panthers and Dragons and line up against a Broncos side that is missing several key players due to State Of Origin commitments.
The Kiwis will be at or near full strength for this one and will want to show a little more vigour than they did against Stgeorge Illawarra last week who ran them over 30-14.
Brisbane are riding a six-game winning streak and were ultra impressive in holding the Tigers scoreless in a 36-nil romp at Suncorp Stadium last week.
The New Zealand Warriors were barely in the game last week against the Dragons despite scoring the opening try.
Stgeorge Illawarra ran for an incredible 644 metres more than the Kiwis last week which set the platform for their win. Making things far more difficult for themselves, the Warriors missed 42 tackles and had were on the wrong side of the possession stats.
Psychologically the Warriors are damaged from their second half collapse against Penrith two weeks ago but this is a golden opportunity for them to turn things around against a side that is missing several Origin players.
This is the start of Brisbane’s difficult part of the year.
As is usually the case at this time of every season, BRISBANE are going to be missing several players due to Origin commitments. This year they have Sam Thaiday, Anthony Milford, Corey Oates, Darius Boyd, Josh Maguire and Matt Gillett missing while Andrew McCullough is out due to concussion.
On the plus side, halfback Ben Hunt returns to the side from a hamstring injury while Benji Marshall makes just his second appearance for the Broncos this season and will partner Hunt in the halves.
Between these two they are capable of causing the Warriors defence plenty of headaches.
The negative though is that their forwards who are big contributors to the side boasting one of the best run metres per game average (1691m) are missing so those who are stepping in have big shoes to fill.
New Zealand are narrowly in front when it comes to head-to-head discussions.
The Warriors have won 18 games compared to Brisbane’s 17 and did win the previous fixture between the sides nearly a year ago 36-18.
Historically the home side should be winning this as they have a huge advantage at Mt Smart Stadium where they have beaten Wayne’s Bennett’s men five times in the past six encounters.
We can’t believe we’re doing this but we are recommending you back the Warriors.
The price on offer is disgusting for a side that has performed the way they have in rounds 10 & 11, however, if they are ever going to turn their season around then this is the game.
Kieran Foran needs to take control of the side as last week he was almost non-existent. Shaun Johnson simply tried too hard and never little worked against the Dragons and the playmakers surely must be smelling blood in the water with so many regulars out of action for the Broncos.
We suggest looking at exotic markets for a bit of value and we think we have found one in the shape of the First Tryscorer market. Young Warriors winger Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad has registered doubles in his past two games and is paying $12 @ Topbetta to open the scoring here.
CHARNZE NICOLL-KLOKSTAD FIRST TRYSCORER