NRL Round 5: Broncos v Tigers Preview & Betting Tips
Two clubs needing to put devastating losses behind them, an under-siege Brisbane Broncos host a desperate Wests Tigers to start round five.
Brisbane Broncos v Wests Tigers – Suncorp Stadium 7:50pm
When the Broncos entered pre-season under their coveted new coach Anthony Seibold, they wouldn’t have envisioned their stacked roster starting 2019 with their worst run since a disastrous 2013 campaign. Yet that’s the reality Brisbane are facing and if they’re not careful this week, it’ll get even worse. The Broncos got what they deserved in a thumping 36-4 loss to the Roosters last week. This won’t be the last thrashing the Premiers inflict upon an opposition yet when you’re the Brisbane Broncos, you’re the ones expecting to deal out these types of beatings.
Brisbane was beaten all over the SCG pitch. The biggest impact the Broncos had was in a late Tevita Pangai Junior hit on Cooper Cronk which now sees the Brisbane firebrand suspended for two weeks. It’s been the story of the campaign so far, with Pangai Junior the latest Bronco forward to be banned following Matt Lodge and Payne Haas. Lodge made his return in the Roosters loss while Haas is for the first time this campaign eligible for selection. The Roosters’ pack was undermanned with Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Jake Friend out and still manhandled the Brisbane forwards.
The Roosters overall ran for 642 metres more than Brisbane – this is a frightening stat for Seibold and when combined with their paltry 62% completion rate shows how far off the pace the Broncos were. But the stat which would scare Seibold the most is the potential 1-4 season start awaiting Brisbane if they don’t turn things around against the Tigers. The Brisbane halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima need to deliver quickly – their efforts this season haven’t been consistently good enough and even with James Roberts’ unavailability there’s still enough strike power in their backs to generate points. But another effort like what they showed against the Chooks and things could get ugly in Red Hill.
The Tigers may still be asking themselves how they didn’t leave Penrith with a win. Their performance wasn’t one to celebrate but they had the better of the Panthers for 79 minutes last Thursday. Unfortunately though in an 80 minute game that’s not enough and it left the door open for Dylan Edwards to score with time running out before Nathan Cleary’s golden point field goal broke Wests hearts. The positive at least for coach Michael Maguire remains in their defence. The Tigers have become known for being a defence-first side and after their disappointing showing in round three against Canterbury, they at least got their defensive line back to normal standards in Penrith.
Josh Reynolds also put in his typical-style game in his return to NRL – looking lively and his deft kicking game leading to points. Wests would be ruing an untypically poor goalkicking performance from Esan Marsters, going 0/3 on the night including a miss from in front. It was a frustrating loss for the Tigers and how they handle this painful experience may determine if it’s a minor setback or the start of a Tiger slump.
Key stats: The Broncos have won eight of their last nine against the Tigers. In these eight wins, seven times they’ve been ahead at half-time. Alex Glenn has nine wins from ten matches against the Tigers, his best overall win rate against any opposition while also having three tries in his last three matches against the Tigers at Suncorp Stadium.
Best bet: Broncos half-time/full-time - $2* (TAB)
Value bet: Alex Glenn anytime tryscorer - $4.50* (TAB)