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Round 1 vs. Sydney Roosters Discussion

Big Pete

Referee
Messages
28,976
Sydney Roosters vs. Brisbane Broncos
Allegiant Stadium (Las Vegas), Sunday 3 March 2024
Kick Off: 2:30pm (AEST)


SYDNEY2024.png

1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii 6. Luke Keary 7. Sam Walker 8. Spencer Leniu 9. Brandon Smith 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Siua Wong 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley

14. Sandon Smith 15. Naufahu Whyte 16. Nat Butcher 17. Terrell May

18. Fetalaiga Pauga 19. Angus Crichton 20. Egan Butcher 21. Zach Dockar-Clay 22. Connor Watson

BRISBANE2024.png

1. Reece Walsh 2. Jesse Arthars 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Selwyn Cobbo 5. Deine Mariner 6. Ezra Mam 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Corey Jensen 9. Billy Walters 10. Payne Haas 11. Brendan Piakura 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan

14. Tyson Smoothy 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Kobe Hetherington 17. Xavier Willison

18. Corey Oates 19. Jock Madden 20. Tristan Sailor 21. Martin Taupau 22. Jaiyden Hunt​
 

Big Pete

Referee
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28,976
The Brisbane Broncos will begin their road to redemption when they take on the Sydney Roosters at Allegient Park.

It's been nearly five months since they let the premiership slip out of their grasp and I'm sure it's a pain they've been managing since the full-time siren sounded. It's something that can swallow them up, or give them the fuel they need to find their next level. The 2015 contingent was never able to recover, we'll see in the coming days how the returning 2023 players fare.

They'll be without four players from that team in Herbie Farnworth, Thomas Flegler (Dolphins), Kurt Capewell (Warriors) and Keenan Palasia. In their place is Deine Mariner with Selwyn Cobbo shifting to the centres, Corey Jensen, Fletcher Baker with Brendan Piakura starting and Xavier Willison coming onto the bench.

Brendan Piakura sustained a medial strain against the Cowboys and was in doubt to play this game. It'll be interesting to see if he plays out the 80 minutes and what direction the Broncos will go if he does succumb to the injury. Last year Patrick Carrigan spent some time on the edge, but first game in, that could prove a real concern for the Broncos..

There was a lot of conjecture over who would fill Cobbo's place in the wing. Coach Walters was quick to nominate Selwyn Cobbo as his replacement for Herbie Farnworth, but it left Jesse Arthars, Corey Oates & Deine Mariner vying for those wing spots. In the end, it was Corey Oates who missed out, with Kevie opting for speed out-wide. Both Arthars and Mariner will be looking for better performances after some indifferent form in the trials.

Fletcher Baker will make his Broncos debut against his former club. I rate Fletcher as an astute signing with a nice draw and pass that can allow Ezra Mam & Reece Walsh to come into the game. His work ethic should bolster the team and I'm sure he'll be looking to make a strong first impression.

We've seen a bit of Xavier Willison over the years, but 2024 is set to be his break-out year. Willison stands at an impressive 6'6 and like Haas moves well for his size. Hailing from Hamilton, New Zealand, Willison has reportedly had a strong off-season and he'll be looking to take this opportunity with both hands.

Their opponents the Sydney Roosters were able to salvage a disappointing season and were within a whisker of making it into the prelims. It was an impressive feat given their injury toll and with the majority of their roster on board, I'm sure they'll be looking to make a statement infront of the Americans. Both teams are very similar in so far they play well in patches and tend to score tries in bunches. If the Broncos are to win this game, they'll need to minimise the damage and take their opportunities when they're presented.

It's going to be a long road but if the Broncos are to overcome, they're going to have to beat the best and it all starts this Sunday.
 
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gUt

Coach
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16,886
The obvious concerns for this game and the season are:

1) Can Cobbo defend at centre?
2) How hard will it be to replace Flegler?
3) Can the Broncos really hope to win most games with mediocre dummy-halves?

We had the advantage of surprise last year, and a building sense of belief which really did sustain us week after week.

Really this first up game against a similiar quality side (on paper) is the best test I could have asked for in round 1.

I predict a close game with a win to the Broncs on the back of Walsh and Mam.
 

Big Pete

Referee
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28,976
It appears that Kevie has taken the conservative approach and will go with Martin Taupau and his 243 games of experience. It's slightly disappointing but understandable and we may need Marty's aggression up against Victor and Spencer.

All very valid concerns. Cobbo left a lot to be desired against the Cowboys and the Roosters are one of the best exponents of short-side raids. I'm expecting some turbulence there, but it could easily get ugly as well.

I think Flegler has a ton of upside and I think he'll play his best footy up north, but I think we only ever saw glimpses of it at the Broncos. Still big shoes to fill, but I don't expect it to be as daunting as it was when the Broncos had to replace Webcke and Civoniceiva. Hopefully it's more of a Lazarus --> Webcke situation for the club.

In general, it'll be interesting to see how the dummy half role changes in 2024. I thought last year there wasn't much of a gap between Harry Grant and the rest of the competition, with players like Koroisau, Mahoney, B. Smith etc. struggling to play to their ability.

It's just a question of whether they can turn it around and raise that ceiling again. Also whether or not Billy can sustain or even improve upon his form. I think Billy has done an admirable job in that role and has always shown promise there, even when he was substituting for Harry Grant at the Wests Tigers.
 

gUt

Coach
Messages
16,886
Billy impressed me last season for sure, I admired his competitiveness and attention to detail. At the back end of the season, as the team's confidence grew, so did his. But I think there's a ceiling of general fitness and quickness around the ruck in attack that I don't think he comes close to when compared to the elites. That's fine, that's why they're the elites. I'm glad to have him but to win this comp you need an elite DH.
 

Big Pete

Referee
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28,976
Billy impressed me last season for sure, I admired his competitiveness and attention to detail. At the back end of the season, as the team's confidence grew, so did his. But I think there's a ceiling of general fitness and quickness around the ruck in attack that I don't think he comes close to when compared to the elites. That's fine, that's why they're the elites. I'm glad to have him but to win this comp you need an elite DH.
With all due respect to Mitch Kenny and Sam Verrills, I don't think either of them are considered in that company and yet they still have premiership rings.

I don't think you need an Origin calibre player to get it done. It certainly helps, but you can make up the aggregate elsewhere.
 
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renouf

Juniors
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1,963
Already shows they're missing some forwards, why do they keep picking Hetherington? Please give Oates a go..
 

Big Pete

Referee
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28,976
Sydney Roosters 20 def. Brisbane Broncos 10 (Deine Mariner, Reece Walsh tries; Adam Reynolds 1/2 goals)

0-1

The Broncos have come back down to earth after being humbled by the Roosters 20-10. The Broncos were their own worst enemy, gifting the Roosters opportunities and failing to build pressure. In the end, the 3 tries to 2 defeat was flattering for the Broncos as the Broncos never held the lead once through out the contest.

Brisbane were left reeling in the opening exchanges when Brendan Piakura came off for a concussion after an ordinary attempt at tackle. This forced a resuffle that saw Patrick Carrigan on the left. This directly resulted in points as Ezra Mam and Patrick Carrigan had a mix up which saw Joseph Manu stroll in off a casual intercept.

Brisbane gave themselves an opportunity mid-way through the second half when a nice spread down the left saw Jesse Arthars link up with Reece Walsh back on the inside. Sydney kicked out on the full, but the Broncos attacking set was ordinary and the Roosters resumed control not long after.

Walsh again looked the most dangerous but was also guilty of some costly errors. The Roosters in particular enjoyed some success when they isolated him under the high ball with chasers.

Flegler, Farnworth, Capewell and Palasia were all sorely missed.
 

League guru

Juniors
Messages
446
The obvious concerns for this game and the season are:

1) Can Cobbo defend at centre?
2) How hard will it be to replace Flegler?
3) Can the Broncos really hope to win most games with mediocre dummy-halves?

We had the advantage of surprise last year, and a building sense of belief which really did sustain us week after week.

Really this first up game against a similiar quality side (on paper) is the best test I could have asked for in round 1.

I predict a close game with a win to the Broncs on the back of Walsh and Mam.
After Sunday's game, the answers are.
1) No
2) Hard, a long season for Haas if he has to take every second hit up.
3) No

A pretty ordinary performance from an overrated side.
 

hellteam

First Grade
Messages
6,530
I think we should be swapping Mariner and Cobbo asap. They are both out of position at the moment. Cobbo does have the ability to be a good centre but it doesn't mean he should be. By moving him from winger we are missing out on his best attributes: tough hit ups and go forward on 1st/2nd tackle, finishing, and broken field running. He's one of our strike players and can make much more of an impact at wing. He can and will hide at centre (as Staggs has done in the past).
 
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hellteam

First Grade
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6,530
Not panic stations yet. The narrow field was always going to be a hindrance for us. A huge amount of our tries last year came from Walsh beating the 3rd in defender on the outside with his pace. That was completely nullified by the Roosters easily covering the narrower field (8 metres I believe - quite a lot when a usual field is 68m), and we weren't good enough to adapt and play differently.
 

isaiah

Bench
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4,644
A broncos fan told me they lost because the field was too small. I said when they moved Cobbo to centre, they weakened both positions
 
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13,968
A broncos fan told me they lost because the field was too small. I said when they moved Cobbo to centre, they weakened both positions

The Fox commentary team pointed out that the entire Broncos left edge was a new combination, not having played together before as a group. I dare say it showed up defensively as it was thru that side where the Roosters scored all its tries.
 

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