What you need to know - Round 7
Suncorp a mutual home
The Broncos have won 12 of their last 15 games at Suncorp Stadium. Storm have won 12 of their last 14 at the venue and have not lost to the Broncos there since 2009. Twist the numbers which way you like however there is no denying that Suncorp has become somewhat of a mutual home for these two teams. It is hardly surprising Melbourne are comfortable in the surroundings, with five currently Queensland Maroons in their line up.
Broncos back in form
The critics were circling and waiting to pounce on the Broncos heading into last weekend. However to their credit they responded in fine fashion by travelling across the ditch and beating the previously undefeated Warriors on their own turf. The nine-point victory reminded the competition that Wayne Bennett’s boys still have the firepower to trouble any team in the competition. A win over the reigning premiers on Friday night will put an exclamation point on that statement.
Will is back
Australia and Queensland centre Will Chambers will return to his customary No.3 after serving his two-week suspension. Young Tonumaipea has shifted to the extended bench though has filled the significant void well over the last fortnight. Chambers brings a wealth of experience to the left edge, with his 176 first grade games invaluable for big games such as this.
Bird is the word
New recruit Jack Bird was thrust into the No.6 jersey last week in New Zealand and it proved to be a masterstroke. The former Shark looked at home, laying off a try assist and helping to steer the Broncos to their highest score of the season so far (27 points). Despite initially being brought to the Club to play in the backs, Bird’s initial performance at five-eighth seems to have convinced the coach he warranted another shot in the playmaking role with Kodi Nikorima set to make his return from injury off the bench in a utility role.