THE LONG HARD LOOK WITH MIKE WILSON
Parramatta Eels v Brisbane Broncos
Parramatta Stadium, 7:45pm
Eels $1.65, Broncos $2.30
Eels: Luke Burt, Etu Uaisele, Chris Walker, Jacob Loko, Jordan Atkins, Casey McGuire, Jeff Robson, Mitchell Allgood, Matt Keating, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Taniela Lasalo, Ben Smith. Interchange (from): Shane Shackleton, Manase Manuokafoa , Carl Webb, Justin Horo, Reni Maitua.
Broncos: Josh Hoffman, Dale Copley, Jack Reed, Gerard Beale, Dane Gagai, Corey Norman, Peter Wallace, Nick Kenny, Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Alex Glenn (c), Dunamis Lui, Matt Gillett. Interchange: Andrew McCullough, Ben Hunt, Mitchell Dodds, David Hala.
One of league’s bad boys Reni Maitua makes a return to Rugby League following a 2 year ban for use of an illegal substance (Clenbuterol). I’m sure the 29 year-old can expect a bit of sledging heading in his direction.
It’s a good chance for the Eels to muster up 2 points playing in front of their home crowd against the ‘Baby Broncos’ who are effectively playing a 4-point game thanks to a much needed post-origin bye next week.
There are quite a few different factors circling this game and I think the major ones are; No Jarryd Hayne for the Eels, No Darren Lockyer for the Broncos. We are all more than aware of the abilities of Darren Lockyer with the ball in his hands, but I think it has been going largely unnoticed the influence Locky is having with his hands on guidance of some of the young players in the squad. You can see those qualities come out when the Broncos concede a try and Lockyer gives a speech to his team when they are huddled together besides the posts. The young fellas might miss that influence in a game on enemy soil.
I’m thinking we might be in for another close encounter here. Look out for Eels 5/8th Casey McGuire kicking left field to Jacob Loko and Luke Burt. This is McGuire’s first game against the Broncos since he starred for them in their 2006 Grand Final victory.
On the Broncos’ side of the field I’ll be watching Josh Hoffman who impressed me last week along with Alex Glenn to put in a real leader’s performance as stand in captain.
Mike’s Best Bet: None
(Team lists sourced from nrl.com.au)