WILL the Roosters be able to secure a second NRL grand final spot in three years or will the Broncos book their first grand final spot since 2006?
Brisbane will host the Bondi club at Suncorp Stadium at 7.55pm tonight to determine the first team to make it through to the NRL Grand Final on October 4.
Despite taking out the minor premiership, the Roosters know they will have a lot of work to do against a well rested and fired-up Brisbane side.
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The Broncos are wishing to break their eight-year premiership drought and give Wayne Bennett his eighth premiership win, and seventh with Brisbane.
They’re also hoping to give retiring team-mate Justin Hodges a sensational Suncorp send-off.
But Sydney won’t be easy to defeat by any means.
The tri-colours will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last year, when they were knocked out in the same round to eventual NRL champions, South Sydney.
Sydney’s offence is one of the hardest to stop in the NRL, and Bennett has said his team will focus of shutting down the likes of Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Daniel Tupou, Michael Jennings and Shaun Kenny-Dowall as well as former State of Origin centre Blake Ferguson.
Bennett has named the same 17 that defeated the Cowboys a fortnight ago.
Sydney will be boosted by the return of star halfback Mitchell Pearce, who has been out of the competition since round 24 after injuring his hamstring.
Jackson Hastings has been moved back to the bench in the only change to Trent Robinson’s side since their massive win over the Bulldogs last weekend.
For Gold Coast fans heading to the game tonight, remember you can present your valid membership card or game day ticket to receive free public transport to and from the stadium aboard Queensland Rail City Network trains or Brisbane Transport buses.
This free public transport is available from four hours prior to kick-off and four hours after the full-time siren of the main game.
- Brisbane have conceded more than 18 points in just five games this season, the fewest of any team, and just once since round 16
- Brisbane have missed the fewest tackles in the competition (19.5 per game)
- The Roosters are ranked first in almost every defensive category, conceding just 12.8 points per game
- Brisbane have conceded the fewest penalties (4.9 per game) and made the second-least errors (9.8pg)
- The Broncos and Roosters have been the NRL’s best starters this year, scoring the most points in the opening 20 minutes (Roosters 154pts, Brisbane 152pts) and conceding the fewest points in that period (Brisbane 48pts, Roosters 54pts)