Canberra Raiders vs Brisbane Broncos at GIO Stadium
This match takes place on Saturday June 24th at 5.30pm AEST.
The Canberra team was falling just 1 game short of a Grand Final berth last season & that repeats here too. While only 2 points outside the 8, sitting in a log jam of teams the Raiders need to start banking wins soon or their finals hopes could quickly vanish.
The Broncos come into this match clinging to a position in the top 4, but with 2 losses from their last 3 games look extremely shaky. With a match verses the Storm to follow their trip to the nation’s capital, a loss to the Raiders will have Brisbane on shaky ground.
In the years 2014-2017, Brisbane has defeated Canberra at the Suncorp Stadium & Canberra Stadium.
In 2013 Canberra defeated Brisbane at Canberra Stadium.
The Broncos have tasted victory the last 4 times they have faced the Raiders, including the last 2 in Canberra. Brisbane also has a sizeable advantage in the historical head to head winning 28 of the 48 matches between the 2 teams.
It will have been an extremely long fortnight for the Raiders. After clocking off a few minutes too early against the Panthers, Ricky Stuart’s men will have been itching to get back on the paddock.
If they are to challenge the Broncos, the Canberra forwards will need to lay a platform for the likes of Jordan Ropana, BJ Leilua & Jack Wighton to flourish. In 2016 the Canberra forwards consistently rolled through their opponents & their changed fortunes in 2017 has blunted the Raiders’ attacking weapons out wide.
Having lost 6 matches by less than 6 points, there is a lot the Raiders have done right this season & it will not take a lot for them to return to the kind of form that had them considered a premiership chance this year.
State of Origin is usually a time of carnage for the Broncos, but with only three of Wayne Bennett’s men required for Origin 2, they will be as fresh as they have ever been at this time of year. That said, the injury to Anthony Milford in Game 1 would give the veteran coach reason to argue otherwise.
Much of Brisbane’s hopes will rely upon how well Benji Marshall deputizes for the injured Milford. Aged 32, he has been solid in his last 2 starts but the Broncos will need more from the former Tiger if they are to claim the points.
Eyes will also be focussed on Corey Oates & Sam Thaiday, for both men, this will be their first match after being omitted from the Queensland Origin Team. Despite the Maroon’s performance without them, both will be keen to prove the selectors wrong against the Raiders.
The Origin period is a nightmare time to make predictions with any kind of confidence. How each team’s Origin stars back-up will go a long way to deciding the fixture. The Broncos have struggled away from Suncorp Stadium in 2017 & the Raiders have been strong at home so for that reason alone Canberra will win by 8 points.
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