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The fifth-placed Broncos host the eighth-placed Dragons at Suncorp Stadium in a pivotal clash for both sides in the run to the finals.

Both sides are missing key men with Payne Haas succumbing to a shoulder injury and Kurt Capewell and Selwyn Cobbo on Origin duty while Dragons skipper Ben Hunt is in Queensland camp.

Having lost two on the bounce to the Cowboys and Storm, conceding 72 points in the process, the Broncos need to tighten up their defence and return to the formula that delivered them seven straight wins between round 7-14.

The Dragons snuck away with a victory in horrendous conditions in Wollongong on Sunday to make it four wins from their past five games so they head to Suncorp full of confidence.

Sportsbet Betting preview: Broncos v Dragons

The Rundown

Team news

Broncos: There are no further late changes on game day for the Broncos with Delouise Hoeter coming onto the wing after Corey Oates' late call up for the Maroons in place of Murray Taulagi, who was ruled out of the Origin decider - along with Cameron Munster - due to COVID.

The Broncos are also without Kurt Capewell, Selwyn Cobbo, Pat Carrigan and Thomas Flegler on Origin duty as well as Te Maire Martin (ribs) and Corey Jensen (calf).

Tesi Niu takes over at fullback, Jordan Pereira on the wing and Keenan Palasia and Ryan James are the new props. Payne Haas is out of Origin Three with AC joint problems in both shoulders and he is expected to miss the Broncos' next two games.

Zac Hosking will make his NRL debut in the second row alongside Jordan Riki with Kobe Hetherington into the starting side at lock for Carrigan.

Cory Paix (knee) and Tyson Gamble (leg) return from injury on the bench.

Dragons: Francis Molo will start in the forwards, with Jack De Belin moving to the bench. Winger Mat Feagai is fit to play, despite concerns over a knee injury this week. Tautau Moga will be 18th man. Jayden Sullivan takes over at halfback in place Ben Hunt in the only other change to the side that beat the Raiders last weekend.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Broncos is number 1 Tesi Niu
    Fullback for Dragons is number 1 Cody Ramsey
  • Winger for Broncos is number 5 Jordan Pereira
    Winger for Dragons is number 2 Mathew Feagai
  • Centre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
    Centre for Dragons is number 3 Moses Suli
  • Centre for Broncos is number 4 Brenko Lee
    Centre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
  • Winger for Broncos is number 18 Delouise Hoeter
    Winger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
  • Five-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Ezra Mam
    Five-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Talatau Amone
  • Halfback for Broncos is number 7 Adam Reynolds
    Halfback for Dragons is number 7 Jayden Sullivan

Forwards

  • Prop for Broncos is number 8 Keenan Palasia
    Prop for Dragons is number 10 Blake Lawrie
  • Hooker for Broncos is number 9 Billy Walters
    Hooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
  • Prop for Broncos is number 10 Ryan James
    Prop for Dragons is number 15 Francis Molo
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 Zac Hosking
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Jack Bird
  • 2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Jordan Riki
    2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Jaydn Su'A
  • Lock for Broncos is number 13 Kobe Hetherington
    Lock for Dragons is number 13 Tariq Sims

Interchange

  • Interchange for Broncos is number 14 Cory Paix
    Interchange for Dragons is number 8 Jack De Belin
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 15 Rhys Kennedy
    Interchange for Dragons is number 14 Moses Mbye
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 16 Xavier Willison
    Interchange for Dragons is number 18 Jaiyden Hunt
  • Interchange for Broncos is number 17 Tyson Gamble
    Interchange for Dragons is number 20 Josh Kerr

Reserves

  • Replacement for Broncos is number 20 Deine Mariner
    Replacement for Dragons is number 19 Tautau Moga

Match Officials

  • Referee: Grant Atkins
  • Touch Judge: Liam Kennedy
  • Senior Review Official: Adam Gee

Last updated:

Key match-up

Kotoni Staggs v Moses Suli: With 62 tackle breaks in 14 games Staggs has been as potent as ever in 2022 while Suli is putting together a fine season under Anthony Griffin at the Red V. Staggs was part of the first Origin game for NSW but has since lost his spot, a blow for him personally but a bonus for Brisbane as they set sail towards September. Staggs has the speed and footwork advantage but Suli has the power to steamroll defenders so their battle shapes as an intriguing one.

Stat Attack

The Broncos and Dragons are well off the pace when it comes to offloads delivered this season, opting for a more safety first approach as their big men tuck the ball under the wing and take the metres up the middle. Brisbane sit 13th in the NRL with 126 offloads and the Dragons 15th with 122. The Eels sit on top with 200 offloads, just ahead of Canberra (197).

Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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