Broncos v Titans: Sims to start, Cartwright benched

PREVIEW: Broncos v Titans

Maybe they had a bit of luck in golden point, but the Brisbane Broncos  made it two from three with last week's 9-7 defeat of the Tigers. Belted by the Dragons in round one, Brisbane now have their defence in order. There are concerns for their side, however, with both Corey Oates (hip) and Tevita Pangai Jr. (hamstring) facing at least a week on the sidelines. 

The Gold Coast Titans were abysmal in last Sunday's 54-8 trouncing from the Dragons but, aside from a 54-0 drubbing in round 22 last year, have a knack for rising to the occasion against their Queensland rivals.

Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans, 6.30pm (7.30pm AEDT) Sunday at Suncorp Stadium

The key match-up: The battle in the centres between Broncos flyer James Roberts and Titans powerhouse Konrad Hurrell is a classic contrast of speed versus strength. If the Titans re-produce the same sloppy defensive effort that led to the thrashing from the Dragons, Roberts could have a day out.

For the Broncos to win: First and foremost they can't just show up expecting the Titans to roll over. If Brisbanedefend as strongly as they have in their past two wins, they should have toomuch attacking firepower.

For the Titans to win: It all starts with attitude and self-belief that they aren't as bad as last week's horror show suggests. Atonement will be a strong motivating factor but will only get them so far if they don't put in a serious 80-minute effort against their big-city rivals.

Broncos stat attack: In 25 meetings with the Titans, the Broncos have won 18, lost five and drawn twice. They have out-scored Gold Coast 606 to 351 in those clashes.

Titans stat attack: The Titans have scored 46 points in three games to Brisbane's 45 in 2018, but their 102 points conceded is the worst in the competition.

And another thing: Look for Titans halfback Ash Taylor to have a big game against his former club after his ineffectual performance against the Dragons.

Match: Broncos v Titans

Round 4 -

Full Time
Broncos

Home Team

Broncos

Scored 14 points
Titans

Away Team

Titans

Scored 26 points

Venue: Suncorp Stadium

Match broadcasters:

  • Fox League
  • LIVE PASS

Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Jonus Pearson, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jack Bird, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Korbin Sims, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire

Interchange: 14 Sam Thaiday, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Tom Opacic, 17 Jaydn Su'A.

The Broncos have no further injury concerns after losing Tevita Pangai jnr and Corey Oates earlier in the week. Both Matt Lodge and James Roberts stepped away from training on Thursday. Roberts had to attend to a private matter while Lodge had a minor injury, and neither are in any doubt for Sunday's local derby. Gehamat Shibasaki and Patrick Mogo dropped off the extended bench on Saturday with Sam Tagataese and Todd Murphy omitted an hour before kick-off to make Brisbane 1-17.

Titans: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Anthony Don, 3 Dale Copley, 4 Konrad Hurrell, 5 Phillip Sami, 6 Kane Elgey, 7 Ashley Taylor, 8 Jarrod Wallace, 9 Nathan Peats, 10 Ryan James (c), 11 Kevin Proctor, 12 Will Matthews 13 Jai Arrow

Interchange: 14 Mitch Rein, 15 Max King, 16 Bryce Cartwright, 18 Morgan Boyle

Bryce Cartwright has been dropped to the bench, with Will Matthews starting in the back row, Jai Arrow shifting to lock and Ryan James moving to prop. Keegan Hipgrave is suspended for one match, replaced on the bench by Max King. AJ Brimson and Tyronne Roberts-Davis were dropped from the extended bench on Saturday with Leilani Latu and Ryan Simpkins also omitted an hour before kick-off. Morgan Boyle has been promoted from the reserves to the interchange.

Head-to-head: 25 matches, Broncos 18 wins, Titans 5 wins, 2 draws. 

Matches at venue: 13 matches, Broncos 12 wins, Titans 1 win.

Last five head-to-head:  Broncos 5 wins, Titans 0 wins.

2017 results: Broncos won 24-22 in round 7, Broncos win 54-0 in round 22.

Points per game: Broncos 15, Titans 15.3.

Points conceded per game: Broncos 20.3, Titans 34

Televised: Live on Nine, Fox League