7.35pm (AEST), Friday, April 10
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Brisbane are on a four-match winning streak and hold a share of the competition lead but are chasing their biggest scalp to date on Friday night in the shape of the Sydney Roosters, who are bristling after being rolled by previously winless Cronulla last weekend.
The Broncos’ only change is Sam Thaiday moving into the starting pack at prop, with Jarrod Wallace slipping back to the bench. Justin Hodges and Adam Blair remain on the injured list. The Roosters welcome back Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, which sees Dylan Napa return to an interchange role, while Mitch Aubusson comes into the backrow for Aidan Guerra (broken jaw) and Willie Manu retains a bench spot.
The Broncos are 23-15 all-time against the Roosters, but curiously the Tricolours hold an 8-6 advantage as the away side. The Roosters have won four of the last six encounters between the clubs (including the last two at Suncorp Stadium), culminating in a nail-biting 30-26 victory in Brisbane last season after they scored two tries in the final five minutes.
Brisbane has followed up their Round 3 shellacking of North Queensland with two gritty away wins – 24-16 over the Warriors and 26-16 against the Titans – that featured flashes of attacking brilliance in the first half and stoic defensive efforts after the break. Anthony Milford has exploded in the five-eighth role after a slow start, while Sam Thaiday has responded to being benched with a powerful run of form. Following convincing wins over Penrith (20-12) and Canberra (34-6), the Roosters were out-enthused by Cronulla, falling behind 14-0 before eventually succumbing 20-12 after a brief rally. The Broncos are ranked eighth in defence and fourth in attack, while the Roosters are second in attack and fourth defensively.
Five-eighths Anthony Milford and James Maloney have started 2015 in fine form – the opposing No.6s’ game-breaking qualities could decide this weekend’s clash. Milford has flourished in recent weeks with more of a free rein in attack after a hesitant start in a Broncos jumper, bagging a brilliant double against the Titans. Maloney’s ability to put players into a hole or hit the gap himself has been integral to the Roosters’ strong start to the year, while his goalkicking (18 from 22 in 2015) is an ever-reliable bonus.
Stats That Matter
Brisbane are 22-16 at home since the start of 2012 (21-17 against the start), while they have covered in four of their last five and eight of their last 11 at Suncorp. The Broncos are just 3-8 as home outsider over the last three years but 7-4 ATS. The Roosters are 21-18 overall and against the start in away games since 2012 with a 14-25 under record. As away favourite, the Roosters have gone 16-7 (12-11 ATS) during that period. Since the start of 2013, the Roosters are 13-5 coming off a loss (8-10 ATS). Six of the last nine Broncos-Roosters encounters have been decided by eight points or less, while the sides have produced 50-plus points in four of their last seven meetings.
There’s little in this one and it shapes as another classic between two of the NRL’s glamour clubs. The Broncos’ backline injury concerns are a problem and the Roosters, stacked with game-breakers across the park, represent a step up in class. Expect the Tricolours to bounce back in customary fashion, with their halves out for redemption after a poor showing last week and the likes of Michael Jennings and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to prove the difference. The 1-12 margins are looking very enticing in what should be a close-fought battle, while look to the overs with the Total Game Score line just 39.5.
How It’s Shaping Up
Roosters by 4
Roosters to win ($1.80)
Other Recommended Bets
Over 39.5 ($1.90)
2015 NRL Round 6 Betting Preview for Brisbane vs Sydney Roosters thanks to William Hill Australia.
Brisbane vs Sydney Roosters Comparison Betting Odds
Below we have 2015 NRL Round 6 comparison betting odds from leading Australian and International online sportsbooks for the game.