Brisbane Broncos v St. George Illawarra Dragons
Sunday, 9 September, 4:10pm
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
The Broncos have an imposing record against the Dragons, winning four of the past five times these two clubs have met at all venues. The Dragons got the better of Brisbane in the opening game of the season by 22 points. The 34-12 win by St. George were ignited by brilliant play in the halves by Ben Hunt and Gareth Widdop. Dragons coach Paul McGregor could welcome back Widdop as well as backline players Euan Aitken and Jason Nightingale into his side after the trio have recently missed due to injury. Jack De Belin was injured against Newcastle and seen in a moonboot at training on Tuesday afternoon, which essentially rules him out of this clash.
Stats That Matter
- The Broncos are 14-6 against the Dragons since 2008.
- This fixture has gone under in five of the past six meetings, with the lone exception being the Dragons’ round one win this season.
- The Broncos are 1-3 against the spread when playing the Dragons since 2016.
- George is in the bottom four in the competition for linebreaks this season with only 93. The Broncos have had 110 linebreaks, ranking seventh in the competition.
- The Dragons are vulnerable defensively, especially during second phase play. They have conceded 263 offloads this season, second most behind the Roosters.
The Wolf knows that the Dragons have not come to play in the second half of the season. Whether that is due to fatigue, representative footy and injuries is hard to say, but they will need to produce a monumental upset to topple the Broncos on their home deck. Brisbane is the shortest priced favourite of the first weekend of finals at $1.30 at BetEasy, with the Dragons big outsiders at $3.65. The 10-point start for Brisbane is a lot in finals, but they do boast the competition’s leading points scorer in Jamayne Isaako. Conversely, where the Dragons will find their points will be their biggest concern. In the past six weeks they have averaged less than 12 points per game and that simply won’t be good enough on Sunday. For the Dragons to get close to the Broncos they will need to score at least 24 points and that looks a tall order.
How It Shapes Up
Brisbane by 14.
Best: Brisbane 13+ ($2.05)
Value: Brisbane 13+ / Over 42 ($3.45)
First Tryscorer: James Roberts ($9)