NRL Preview: Round 24
Brisbane Broncos v St George Illawarra Dragons
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
St George Illawarra put their season well back on track with a 26-point win over the Gold Coast Titans last weekend in Kogarah.
A bigger threat lies ahead on Friday night however as a red hot Brisbane Broncos side looks to extend the Dragons' Suncorp Stadium woes.
Brisbane are hitting form at the right time – following thumping wins over the Sharks and the Titans themselves – and have named an unchanged team as a result.
Although future Dragon Ben Hunt (arm) remains in doubt, the Red V won't be concerning themselves with such matters.
Euan Aitken (shoulder) is a chance of returning for the Dragons after being named in the reserves. Tariq Sims and Leeson Ah Mau also swap between the front row and the interchange in an otherwise unchanged side.
Broncos: 1. Darius Boyd (c), 2. Corey Oates, 3. James Roberts, 4. Tautau Moga, 5. Jordan Kahu, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Kodi Nikorima, 8. Korbin Sims, 9. Ben Hunt, 10. Adam Blair, 11. Alex Glenn, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. Sam Thaiday, 15. Tevita Pangai Jr, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Herman Ese'ese, 18. Benji Marshall, 19. David Mead, 20. Jaydn Su'A, 21. Tom Opacic.
Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty, 2. Nene Macdonald, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Tim Lafai, 5. Jason Nightingale, 6. Gareth Widdop (c), 7. Kurt Mann, 8. Leeson Ah Mau, 9. Cameron McInnes, 10. Paul Vaughan, 11. Tyson Frizell, 12. Joel Thompson, 13. Jack de Belin. Interchange: 14. Tariq Sims, 15. Hame Sele, 16. Blake Lawrie, 17. Taane Milne, 18. Josh McCrone, 19. Jacob Host, 20. Luciano Leilua, 21. Euan Aitken.
Key Match-Up: Korbin Sims v Tariq Sims – If Tariq were to start as he did last weekend against the Titans then he'll square off directly against his brother, Broncos firebrand Korbin. While Tariq has spent the majority of the season starting from the interchange, he has still managed to produce 20 extra metres and three extra tackles per game than his younger sibling. In saying that, Korbin has looked revitalised since reuniting with Wayne Bennett in 2017 and poses plenty of danger for the Red V.
The History: Played 36; Broncos 22, Dragons 14. The Broncos have won 11 of their past 12 games against the Dragons including their last meeting in Round 22 last year where Brisbane prevailed 12-8 in terrible Wollongong conditions. The last time the Red V won at Suncorp Stadium was way back in Round 4, 2009.
Match Officials: Referee: Matt Cecchin. Assistant Referee: Gavin Reynolds. Sideline Officials: Nick Morel and Rickey MacFarlane.
Televised: Channel Nine – Live coverage from 7:30pm; Fox League – Live coverage from 7:30pm
Radio: 2GB, ABC and Triple M (Brisbane)