Match Preview | Preliminary Final

After meeting the Brisbane Broncos twice this year and splitting the series 1-1, the Roosters will face them one last time this season, in a match that will decide who plays on NRL’s biggest stage in October. 

With a Golden Point thriller at Suncorp Stadium and a gutsy grudge match at Allianz Stadium, we’re set for another classic on Friday to round out the top of the table clashes, and determine which side is primed for a shot at the Premiership.

Since 2013, clashes between the Roosters and Broncos have been decided by 8 points or less.

Will it be the same this week, or will the top 2 teams at the end of the regular season look to flex their muscles as official Premiership contenders?

TEAM LIST

1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck | Darius Boyd

2. Daniel Tupou | Corey Oates

3. Michael Jennings | Jack Reed

4. Blake Ferguson | Justin Hodges ©

5. Shaun Kenny-Dowall | Jordan Kahu

6. James Maloney | Anthony Milford

7. Mitchell Pearce (c) | Ben Hunt

8. Sam Moa | Sam Thaiday

9. Jake Friend | Andrew McCullough

10. Dylan Napa | Adam Blair

11. Mitchell Aubusson | Alex Glenn

12. Aidan Guerra | Matt Gillett

13. Boyd Cordner | Corey Parker

INTERCHANGE

14. Jackson Hastings | Jarrod Wallace

15. Isaac Liu | Mitchell Dodds

16. Kane Evans | Jo Ofahengaue

17. Sio Siua Taukeiaho | Kodi Nikorima

Welcome back, Captain: With Captain Mitchell Pearce primed for his return this Friday, he will face the undeniable challenge of taking on one of the best halfbacks in the competition.

Ben Hunt is an X-Factor, producing miracle plays for his team when they need it most and breaks the line almost at will.

Pearce’s last match-up with Hunt was cut short when he went down with a hamstring injury early in the first half.

He quite literally picks up where he left off on Friday night when he plays the side he went down injured to in Round 24.

He has a job on his hands, but if we know anything about Pearce it’s that defence is one of his specialties.

He will need to be on his game if he’s going to shut down Hunt.

How to keep cool: Dylan Napa is one of the most physical forwards in the game, and this weekend he’ll have to be very physical if he’s going to make an impact against the Broncos forwards.

This week he lines up against Adam Blair, who is one of the last players to shy away from confrontation.

Blair was involved in the infamous Brookvale showdown with Glenn Stewart in 2011, when the two were involved in a physical altercation that ended in a lengthy suspension for the Kiwi International.

Since then, he’s show he not only doesn’t back down from confrontation, but doesn’t mind being the one to start it.

Napa will have to keep his cool if Blair plans to get under his skin, and channel his energy into shutting him down.

Lock solid: There is no hiding the fact that Boyd Cordner has been turning heads this season with his incredible form.

Since the injuries to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Pearce, Cordner has found another gear, showing he can be a true superstar for the Club.

When the term ‘reliable’ gets thrown around the NRL world, one of the first names that comes to mind is Corey Parker.

The long serving Brisbane lock is rock solid in the number 13 jersey, representing the Broncos, Kangaroos and Maroons.

It’s the rock solid youngster up against a true veteran of the game on Friday night, and only time will tell which style of play proves to be winning ingredients.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

At Suncorp Stadium | Broncos- 4 | Roosters- 4

LAST FIVE

2015- Roosters DEF Broncos 12-10 at Allianz Stadium

2015- Broncos DEF Roosters 22-18 at Suncorp Stadium

2014- Roosters DEF Broncos 30-26 at Suncorp Stadium

2013- Roosters DEF Broncos 8-0 at Allianz Stadium

2012- Broncos DEF Roosters 40-22 at Allianz Stadium

VERDICT

After a slow start to the 2015 season, the Roosters have bolted their way back to the top of the ladder for the third consecutive year.

After a tough loss in the first week of the finals, followed by a convincing win over the Bulldogs, the Roosters have one more challenge if they are to make their way to the illustrious Grand Final.

As far as challenges go, this is a huge one.

With a packed Suncorp Stadium, a top of the table clash, plenty of star quality and a Grand Final on the line, you can bet that this one is going to be tough, and the Roosters will need to be at their best.