5 Things You Should Know: Round 23

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Updated: August 12, 2017

1. Go Fourth And Prosper

It’s Top 4 or bust for both teams tonight as they start a string of crucial games against other teams in finals contention to round out the season. After tonight’s massive clash, the Broncos play the Dragons, Eels and Cowboys in coming weeks, while Cronulla take on the Cowboys and Roosters before a tricky final round on the road against plucky Newcastle. Get on a winning run in the next month and a home final is the carrot, even two of them if you can sneak into second on the table behind the rampant Melbourne storm.

2. Same, Same But Different

In what is as much a testament to the Broncos’ strength, conditioning and rehab staff as anything, Brisbane will tonight field a team almost exactly the same as for the Round 1 clash with the Sharks – the only difference to the 17 being the absence of Andrew McCullough after his season-ending knee injury suffered against the Rabbitohs a fortnight ago. Ben Hunt, who played halfback in the 26-18 win at Southern Cross Group Stadium to start the season, moves to hooker with Kodi Nikorima the only new face in the team from Round 1 in the halves. A number of Bronco stars have spent time on the sidelines during the season including Anthony Milford (shoulder), Darius Boyd (thumb), and Corey Oates (infection) but have all returned to action at the right time of the year.     
 

3. Perfect Partners

Eight games as the halves pairing for the Broncos in 2017 for eight wins. That’s the impressive record built by Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima and it’s a partnership that goes back all the way to schoolboy football. The pair, who have both signed fresh contracts with the Broncos in recent months, came from either side of the Brisbane River – Milford from the Logan area, while Nikorima played at Wavell in the inner north – but combined regularly in Queensland junior rep teams. Broncos fans will be hoping the pair’s unbeaten streak this season can continue well into double figures.
 

4. 300 Reasons To Get to Suncorp Stadium

He’s the man Queenslanders love to hate, and locals will get a final chance to vent their anger at Paul Gallen when he plays his 300th NRL game for the Sharks tonight. Gallen has enjoyed playing the villain north of the border over the past decade, a point that drew praise from an unlikely source this week in Wayne Bennett, who said the game needed personalities like Gallen to add interest. “If it ever stops then people will lose a lot of interest. He’s been a really good player and played tough every week he’s ever played so you have to admire that,” said Bennett. “He’s also got a strong enough personality to have self-confidence in what he says and what he believes in.”

5. 600 Reasons To REALLY Get To Suncorp Stadium

Speaking of milestones, Wayne Bennett will coach his 600th Broncos game tonight as he marks another chapter in an incredible career. As coach of the Brisbane from 1988-2008, then 2015-17, Bennett has a recorded 383 wins, 204 losses and 12 draws from 599 games, with a winning percentage of 64%. To have been able to oversee two wins from every three games over such a long time as coach puts Bennett right up there with some of the world’s best. Legendary New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a 67% winning record from his 388 games, while the great Sir Alex Ferguson had a 65% winning mark in his 808 game at the helm of Manchester United.  
 

Source: http://www.broncos.com.au/news/2017/08/11/_5_things_you_should.html





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