Round 6 in the 2021 NRL season will get underway on Thursday night as usual, with the Brisbane Broncos taking on the Penrith Panthers from Suncorp Stadium. Greg Davis has been seeing them well of late and he is back with another preview for the clash below.
NRL Broncos vs Panthers Betting Tips
Suncorp Stadium, Thursday 14th April 7.50pm (AEST)
BRISBANE: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Xavier Coates 3. Richard Kennar 4. Jesse Arthars 5. David Mead 6. Brodie Croft 7. Tom Dearden 8. Matthew Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai Jnr 13. Patrick Carrigan. Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Tom Flegler 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Jordan Riki 18. Rhys Kennedy 19. Cory Paix 20. Keenan Palasia 21. Corey Oates
PENRITH: 1.Stephen Crichton 2.Charlie Staines 3.Paul Momirovski 4. Matt Burton 5.Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Moses Leota 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11.Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Matthew Eisenhuth 17. Liam Martin 18. Scott Sorensen 19. Robert Jennings 20. J’maine Hopgood 21. Jaeman Salmon
Billy Joel convinced supermodel Christie Brinkley to marry him in the 1980s, the USA beat Russia in the ice hockey at the 1980 Winter Olympics, 100-1 pop Prince of Penzance won the 2015 Melbourne Cup and the “worst-ever” Queensland team claimed last year’s Origin series.
But surely there will be no act of God at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night. Even if the big fella upstairs slotted Jesus himself into five-eighth for Brisbane to replace the dropped Anthony Milford, the Broncos would still be a snowflake’s chance in hell of beating Penrith.
The Panthers are at Black Caviar-like odds of $1.03 or $1.04 in head-to-head betting while the Broncos have been given anywhere from 26 to 28 points start. They are extraordinarily lopsided numbers that reinforce how far Brisbane have to go to recapture past glories.
In four of their five matches this season, Brisbane have been belted, bashed, bruised and/or well-beaten. And their one win over Canterbury was one of the worst games at NRL level in recent years.
Million-dollar dud Anthony Milford has finally paid the price for years of under-whelming and disappointing performances and has been axed by new Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
Of the handful of million dollar-per-year players in the NRL, Milford has consistently delivered the least. He goes missing when his team needs him most. He takes poor options with the ball – if he bothers to try and find it – and is a glorified speed bump in defence.
Yes, had the Broncos held on to win the 2015 NRL grand final against North Queensland, he would have won the Clive Churchill Medal. But that was six years ago and any credits he had in the bank, no longer exist. They were tapped out years ago, to be fair.
With a new halves pairing of Brodie Croft and Tom Dearden, Brisbane will give an honest, whole-hearted effort for a chunk of the 80 minutes before the purring Penrith powerhouse pummels the Ponies.
Brisbane have been ultra- competitive with good sides only to concede multiple tries in big bunches. Once sides get on a roll, the horse is bolting on the Broncos who are unable to slow down the opposition’s momentum in any way, shape or form.
So, it could get very ugly for the Broncos at home on Thursday night. Penrith were very impressive in their 30-10 win over title hopeful Canberra last Friday to continue their ominous form in 2021.
The Panthers have won 22 of their last 23 matches with the only loss coming in last year’s grand final. And it is easy to see why.
They have a tough, mobile and skilful pack. They have arguably the best halves combination in the NRL and there is speed and freakish finishing ability to burn in the backline.
And they have a swagger about them and get a little chirpy with their opposition as they go about their relentless and remorseless quest for points. They are very good, they know it and they will tell you about it.
So, Brisbane might cop a walloping on the scoreboard with an ear-bashing to boot.
Given the gaping chasm in form lines that would rival the Grand Canyon, it is hard to see it going any other way.
Viliame Kikau Anytime Try