Broncos hoping history repeats in search for first win against Bulldogs

Jordan Riki at training earlier this week. Photo: broncos.com.au

Looking back to round 9 2020, the Brisbane Broncos defeated the Canterbury Bulldogs 26-8, breaking a six-game losing streak.

That would be the last time Brisbane would win a game.

Saturday marks 259 days since that last win and the Broncos will be hoping they can repeat the past, attempting to break a 13-game run of losses when they take on Trent Barrett’s men at Suncorp Stadium.

Kevin Walters has made one change with Tom Dearden a late inclusion off the bench, replacing the injured John Asiata, while the Bulldogs were forced to make a string of changes with youngster Tui Katoa replacing the suspended Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the wing.

Watene-Zelezniak took the early guilty plea and will miss two matches after a careless high tackle last week.

Corey Waddell will move into the squad with Raymond Faitala-Mariner sidelined after suffering a foot injury in their round two loss to Penrith.

Joe Stimson will make his season debut from the bench, while the dynamic Jeremy Marshall-King will start at hooker, forcing Sione Katoa to the bench.

Both teams will be desperate to kickstart their seasons and impress new coaching staff coming off disheartening defeats in round two.

The Bulldogs matched it early with the Panthers, completing at over 80 per cent in the rain, but missed 42 tackles as the former minor premiers scored three late tries to seal a big victory.

While the Broncos trailed 22-4 at halftime against their not so little brothers the Gold Coast Titans, going on to score two late tries to add some respectability to the score line.

Both sides will need to clean up their defensive efforts, leaking a combined 112 points over the first two rounds.

While the Broncos need to play for the complete 80 minutes, looking for consistency from their young forward pack, the Bulldogs need to capitalise on high completions and look to score some early points with their new-look backline.

Jordan Riki (16 carries for 193 metres) signed an extension earlier in the week to remain in Brisbane until the end of the 2024 season and will be eager to consolidate his recent form.

Tevita Pangai Junior (21 carries for 187 metres) also proved dangerous in attack with six tackle breaks, scoring a try late in the second half.

Bulldogs will hope veteran Josh Jackson (12 carries for 82 metres) can continue his defensive heroics after not missing a single tackle in 64 attempts last week.

While Kyle Flanagan (1 carry for 8 metres) will be keen to make amends after a quiet game last week, looking to return to his round one form where he tallied three try assists and as many line-break assists.

This round three clash is shaping up as a vital fixture as both teams look to break their dry spells and move up from the bottom of the ladder.

With two new coaches under mounting pressure, both outfits will hope to improve on their defensive efforts before they both face off against the in-form Melbourne Storm and South Sydney Rabbitohs over the next fortnight.

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