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Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons NRL Finals Preview and Team News - Broncos unbeaten against Dragons at Suncorp since 2009

Andrew Hendrie 7 Sep 2018
  • Brisbane Broncos meet St George Illawarra Dragons in the NRL finals on Sunday
  • Dragons haven't beaten Broncos at Suncorp in almost a decade
Broncos face Dragons on Sunday

Brisbane Broncos look to continue their dominant record over St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium when the two sides square off in an elimination final on Sunday afternoon.

Timing is everything in the NRL and it appears as if the Broncos have timed their run to perfection, coming into the finals series on the back of a three-match winning streak.

On the other hand, the Dragons have only won three of their last nine matches and have limped into the finals after leading the competition over the first few months of the season.

It all points to a Broncos victory - especially when you consider the Dragons haven’t won at Suncorp Stadium since 2009 - but can Wayne Bennett’s team handle the pressure and expectation of being overwhelming favourites?

Finals footy came a couple of weeks early for the Broncos as they needed to win their last games of the regular season in order to be assured of finishing in the eight, and that brought the best out of them as they beat heavyweight opposition in the Roosters and Rabbitohs before easing past Manly last week.

With the competition so open and unpredictable, this could be a season where one of the teams outside the top four make a run to the premiership - and out of those four teams, the Broncos are the most likely at the moment.

The Dragons were humiliated by the Bulldogs in a 36-0 loss two weeks ago, but they did manage to bounce back and post a scrappy win over the Knights last week, so at least they head into the finals with rebuilt confidence and on the back of a win.

But the reality is that the Dragons have lost steam towards the end of the season the last few years now, and with their forward struggling to make metres, I just can’t see how they are going to challenge the Broncos away from home.

Gareth Widdop is a massive inclusion for the joint-venture outfit, but as mentioned, the Dragons haven’t won - even when they’re in top form - at Suncorp in almost a decade. I think the Broncos will put on a clinic on Sunday.

Stats


  • Broncos are 14-6 against Dragons since 2008
  • Dragons haven’t won at Suncorp since 2009
  • Dragons won their only meeting this year in R1 34-12

Teams


Andrew McCullough (concussion) returns at hooker for the Broncos, allowing Josh McGuire to revert to lock and Joe Ofahengaue to the bench, with Jake Turpin dropping out. Alex Glenn (calf) is also back in the second row, with David Fifita returning to the interchange and Kotoni Staggs to 18th man. 

Gareth Widdop (elbow) returns for the Dragons, bumping Kurt Mann to the bench and Jai Field out of the squad.

Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. James Roberts 4. Jordan Kahu 5. Jamayne Isaako 6. Anthony Milford 7. Kodi Nikorima 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Sam Thaiday 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Mcguire

Interchange: 14. Patrick Mago 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Korbin Sims 17. David Fifita

Reserves: 18. Kotoni Staggs 19. Sam Tagataese 20. Gehamat Shibasaki 21. Troy Dargan

Dragons: 1. Matthew Dufty 2. Nene Macdonald 3. Zac Lomax 4. Timoteo Lafai 5. Jordan Pereira 6. Gareth Widdop 7. Ben Hunt 8. James Graham 9. Cameron McInnes 10. Leeson Ah Mau 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Tariq Sims 13. Jack de Belin

Interchange: 14. Jeremy Latimore 15. Kurt Mann 16. Blake Lawrie 17. Luciano Leilua

Reserves: 18. Jason Nightingale 19. Euan Aitken 20. Jacob Host 21. Hame Sele

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Brisbane Broncos vs St George Illawarra Dragons NRL Finals Preview and Team News - Broncos unbeaten against Dragons at Suncorp since 2009

Brisbane Broncos look to continue their dominant record over St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium when the two sides square off in an elimination final on Sunday afternoon.

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