Stephen’s Match of the Round: Round 24

Our resident Dragons tragic is back for another preview, this time, with the key game to look out for in Rd 24. With so many key games this week, which game do you think it will be?

LAST WEEK: Brisbane started off too strong but finished off way to soft and blew it. Losing 22-14 to the Bulldogs

Melbourne ended up too strong for the Titans as they prevailed 24-16.

THIS WEEK: Broncos fans will be happy to see their boys at home, to give them the support they need after a poor form slump lately. They will need a huge 80 minute performance that will be able to beat this strong Melbourne team. An all round effort up front is more than needed after some soft play in the last few weeks. Every single player needs to stand up. Unlikely as it sounds but the Broncos can drop out of the eight and fail to make the finals if they don’t turn around their current form. It’s a tough ask but they need to believe.

The Storm always know what is needed. As they start to rumble towards the season’s end they will try their best to knock off every competitor in their way. Whether they crush them, or just do their best to worm their way out and still produce a victory. This is a team that have the players and the passion to make the Grand Final. It’s always tough to travel, but Melbourne seemingly is a fourth team from Queensland so they should fare okay.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Brisbane to play 80 minutes. Last week they took their foot off the gas and paid hugely as they crumbled to a loss. Commitment in defence would be another thing coach Anthony Griffin would be drilling them this week at training. Some poor missed tackles and gaping holes led to their demise. If they can turn this all around this week, we will see a Brisbane side that we are used to seeing. Competitive, strong, and give the other big sides a run for their money.

Melbourne don’t want to let Brisbane get away early, because at home they are the sort of team who can carry it on. Melbourne will be oh so tough, as they know what’s at stake. The brilliant attacking direction will once again be in full force and can be destructive. The quickness around the play the ball is such a huge factor in this game, and if they can win that – they have the upper hand all night.

THE BATTLE OF: The big boys! Ben Hannant or the Polar Bear as he is commonly called, is pretty much the size of a bear and runs like one too. Courageous in defence, he is the sort of player you base a team around. His runs at the tired defenders could cause major problems for the defence.

Bryan Norrie is the old head that every team needs, and he does his fair share which would inspire any young bloke. The way he goes about his work lifts the players around him, and he doesn’t get enough credit for it.

KEEP YOUR EYE ON: Ben Te’o. Was a one man team last week, seemingly the only one putting in all his effort. A huge player that can run with ball in hand and give that sneaky offload. Always a dangerous player.

Cameron Smith – The dictator. Anything that happens on the fifth tackle is always sorted out three tackles previous by this man. He is the best in the game at what he does and doesn’t even need to touch the ball to make a massive difference.

PREDICTION:
The form slump doesn’t help Brisbane in this one, going up against one of the toughest sides in the NRL. Melbourne to take this one out 28-20


SWT Gallagher

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