NUMBERS GAME: WARRIORS V BRONCOS STATS PREVIEW

The Warriors travel to Brisbane this Saturday to take on the Broncos at Suncorp. 

  • 43 – This will be the 43rd encounter between these two sides since the Warriors’ inaugural game against the Broncos in 1995. 
  • 18 – The Warriors have won on 18 occasions, while the Broncos have taken the honours 24 times. 

Remarkably, due to an extremely bottom-heavy table both sides are still mathematically in with a strong chance to make the Top 8, despite having mixed results this season. The rivals head into Round 17 with 6-9 records. 

  • 1 – The Broncos are the only side not currently in the Top 8 that feature in the Warriors remaining fixtures. 

Both sides have had rather indifferent runs since they last met, neither showing the type of form that will win a premiership. 

  • 1 – The Broncos have won only one of their four games since grinding out an 8-2 win at Mt Smart in Round 11. The Warriors have fared slightly better with two wins from their four games – one of their losses by just one point in golden point against the Panthers. 
  • 3 – The Warriors’ win over the Knights last weekend was the third occasion this season that they have failed to score a try in the first half. 

But last Sunday’s gutsy win over the Sharks will be confidence-building for the Broncos, who fielded three debutants due to Origin call-ups. All three rep players – Corey Oates, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita – have been named to return to play this weekend. 

  • 10 – Eight of the Broncos’ starting line-up from last weekend had played fewer than 10 NRL games. 

TWL RD 17 PREVIEW: WARRIORS V BRONCOS

If the Warriors can take any positives from their last outing over a depleted Knights side it should be the way they didn’t give up, looking a completely different team in the second half as they overturned a 10-point deficit to win 24-20.

  • 2 – It was the second occasion the Warriors have come back to win a game after being behind at halftime this season. 
  • 4 – It was the second occasion this season that the Warriors have scored four second-half tries in a game this season. 

The last encounter in this fixture – played just six weeks ago – was a real defensive battle, with neither side giving an inch. The arm-wrestle resulted in an 8-2 victory to the Broncos. 

  • 2 – It was only the second time in the Warriors’ history that they have lost when conceding single figures in a game. On the other occasion, they lost 4-2 to the Storm in 2007. 

The Warriors don’t have a great record against the Broncos in Brisbane, winning only 31% of their games there. 

  • 3 – The Warriors have won only three of their past nine games against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in the past 10 years. 
  • 2 – But they have won their last two games at Suncorp in a row: A victory over the Broncos in 2018 and a win over the Dragons in the Magic Round earlier this season. 
  • 3 – The last three games in this fixture have been won by the away side. 

THIS WARRIORS LIFE PODCAST: EPISODE 17

And despite a woeful run at home of late, they have thrived on the road. 

  • 4 – The Warriors have won their last four games in a row in Australia for the first time since 2002, when they won six straight. 
  • 24 – The Warriors have scored 24 or more points in each of their last four consecutive wins on Australian soil. 
  • 18 – The Warriors have won three of their last five games against the Broncos by a margin of no less than 18 points on each occasion. 

As has been the case for most of this season, the Warriors are relying too much on the individual brilliance of Ken Maumalo and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck to get them over the line. If the likes of Blake Green and Issac Luke can replicate last weekend’s second half razzle-dazzle they will cause some real trouble. 

  • 12 – Ken Maumalo is the equal leading try-scorer in the NRL in 2019 with 12, alongside Parramatta winger Maika Sivo. 
  • 2,829 – Nobody has run for more metres than Maumalo (2,829 metres) and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (2,645) in the NRL in 2019. Only Jason Taumalolo has a metres-per-game average than the Warriors duo. 
  • 929 – Maumalo leads the NRL for post-contact metres in 2019 – 140 metres clear of David Klemmer in second place. 
  • 290 – Maumalo (290 runs) and Tuivasa-Sheck (279) again doing the lion’s share of the work, taking more runs than anyone else in the NRL in 2019. 

Fast starts, mid-game fade outs, the occasional a second-half comeback. It has been that kind of season for the Warriors. 

  • 10 – The Warriors have scored the first try in 10 of their 15 games this season, but only went on to win four of those. 
  • 8 – Despite only playing one game in the halves in 2019, Peta Hiku leads the Warriors for the most try-assists this season. 

The Broncos have a huge, young forward pack who have been somewhat dormant this season. You can’t help but feel they are due to explode at any point. 

  • 3 – Three of the Broncos’ forwards are under 20 years of age: Payne Haas, Thomas Flegler and David Fifita. 
  • 59.5 – Payne Haas is behind only Jason Taumalolo and David Klemmer for the most post-contact metres per/game by a forward in 2019. 
  • 150 – Three of the Broncos’ forwards are averaging more than 150 metres per game this season. Meanwhile, only two Warriors forwards break triple figures, Agnatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau, both with 105 metres per game. 

PAASI RE-SIGNS UNTIL 2022

The Warriors’ forward pack will need to stamp their authority on this game early or the young Broncos pack could run riot, setting a platform for the likes of Milford and Oates. 

  • 100 – Agnatius Paasi and Leeson Ah Mau have both run for over 100 metres in their past five games. 
  • 1 – Leeson Ah Mau has only missed one of his 109 tackles in his past four games. 

With Anthony Milford shifted to fullback, it will be interesting to see if it will affect his kicking game and the Broncos’ field position. 

  • 403 – Anthony Milford is the NRL’s equal leader for kicking metres this season with Rabbitohs half Adam Reynolds, both kicking for 403 metres per game. 

Both teams have everything to play for here. Both sets of fans have no idea which version of their side will turn up. It all sets up an fascinating evening on Saturday. 

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