live Infotainment Factory: Broncos set for historic first against Roosters

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Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Broncos set for historic first against Roosters


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Wide World of Sports stats guru David Middleton breaks down round four of the NRL season, to bring you the biggest talking points of the three matches broadcast by Channel Nine.

Sydney Roosters v Brisbane

The loss of Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves could make all the difference in tonight’s showdown between the Roosters and the Broncos at the SCG.

The Kiwi Test prop was ruled out yesterday with a rib injury and Zane Tetevano named as his replacement. The last four times that Waerea-Hargreaves has been missing from the Roosters’ line-up, they have lost. Apart from supplying much of the Roosters’ up-front aggression, JWH is the man who starts the Roosters’ sets and his powerful bursts and fast play-the-balls are a key asset for the team. The Broncos were the only side to defeat the Roosters twice in 2018 and will be confident of another positive result tonight.

Interestingly, tonight will mark the Broncos’ first appearance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with fullback Darius Boyd the only Brisbane player who has played there before. Boyd played two games at the iconic venue for the Dragons in 2010 (v Roosters) and 2011 (v Bulldogs).

Brisbane's Jack Bird celebrates a try against the Dragons.

Penrith v Wests Tigers

Hard-running Panthers back-rower Viliame Kikau will be warmly welcomed back into the fold tomorrow night when he makes his return from an ankle injury against Wests Tigers.

Kikau, who turns 24 tomorrow, injured his ankle in the opening minutes of the Panthers’ first trial match against South Sydney in February. He proved a devastating force on the Panthers’ left edge in 2018 and his combination with countryman Waqa Blake created a glut of scoring opportunities.

The Panthers have managed only five tries in their opening three games, and failed to get across the line at all against Melbourne last weekend in Bathurst. Tomorrow night’s game has been billed as one of the grudge matches of the 2019 season following Ivan Cleary’s departure from Wests Tigers and it’s expected to be evident from the opening exchanges that there will be more at stake than two competition points.

Nathan Cleary (left) and James Maloney.

Melbourne v Canterbury

Those expecting that a Melbourne victory will be a formality when they line up against the Bulldogs this Sunday might be advised to take a look back at the recent history of these clashes.

It was not long ago that the Bulldogs were boasting a six-game winning streak against the Storm and despite significant changes to their line-up, Canterbury will arrive at AAMI Park on Sunday with an enviable record. They are the only team to boast a winning percentage greater than 50 per cent against Melbourne and they have won their past three games at AAMI Park. Storm fans will be hoping that captain Cameron Smith can post at least nine points to break the all-time premiership point scoring record this Sunday. It would make a neat piece of history if Smith were to break the record against the Bulldogs, the former club of current record-holder, Hazem El Masri.

Wide World of Sports stats guru David Middleton breaks down round four of the NRL season, to bring you the biggest talking points of the three matches broadcast by Channel Nine.

Sydney Roosters v Brisbane

The loss of Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves could make all the difference in tonight’s showdown between the Roosters and the Broncos at the SCG.

The Kiwi Test prop was ruled out yesterday with a rib injury and Zane Tetevano named as his replacement. The last four times that Waerea-Hargreaves has been missing from the Roosters’ line-up, they have lost. Apart from supplying much of the Roosters’ up-front aggression, JWH is the man who starts the Roosters’ sets and his powerful bursts and fast play-the-balls are a key asset for the team. The Broncos were the only side to defeat the Roosters twice in 2018 and will be confident of another positive result tonight.

Interestingly, tonight will mark the Broncos’ first appearance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, with fullback Darius Boyd the only Brisbane player who has played there before. Boyd played two games at the iconic venue for the Dragons in 2010 (v Roosters) and 2011 (v Bulldogs).

Brisbane's Jack Bird celebrates a try against the Dragons.

Penrith v Wests Tigers

Hard-running Panthers back-rower Viliame Kikau will be warmly welcomed back into the fold tomorrow night when he makes his return from an ankle injury against Wests Tigers.

Kikau, who turns 24 tomorrow, injured his ankle in the opening minutes of the Panthers’ first trial match against South Sydney in February. He proved a devastating force on the Panthers’ left edge in 2018 and his combination with countryman Waqa Blake created a glut of scoring opportunities.

The Panthers have managed only five tries in their opening three games, and failed to get across the line at all against Melbourne last weekend in Bathurst. Tomorrow night’s game has been billed as one of the grudge matches of the 2019 season following Ivan Cleary’s departure from Wests Tigers and it’s expected to be evident from the opening exchanges that there will be more at stake than two competition points.

Nathan Cleary (left) and James Maloney.

Melbourne v Canterbury

Those expecting that a Melbourne victory will be a formality when they line up against the Bulldogs this Sunday might be advised to take a look back at the recent history of these clashes.

It was not long ago that the Bulldogs were boasting a six-game winning streak against the Storm and despite significant changes to their line-up, Canterbury will arrive at AAMI Park on Sunday with an enviable record. They are the only team to boast a winning percentage greater than 50 per cent against Melbourne and they have won their past three games at AAMI Park. Storm fans will be hoping that captain Cameron Smith can post at least nine points to break the all-time premiership point scoring record this Sunday. It would make a neat piece of history if Smith were to break the record against the Bulldogs, the former club of current record-holder, Hazem El Masri.

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