The Brisbane Broncos and Melbourne Storm clash in a big game at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, while the North Queensland Cowboys need to bounce back to winning ways against the Warriors.
The second-placed Cowboys are in action in the early kick-off when they entertain the Warriors in Townsville and they need a response to last week’s defeat against the Sydney Roosters.
Coach Todd Payten will be hoping the loss was just a blip and with the finals campaign just a few weeks away, now is not the time to start losing games.
The Broncos against the Storm at Suncorp is a mouthwatering prospect for anyone who enjoys watching top-class rugby league.
These two sides hope to go deep into finals and challenge the Penrith Panthers for the premiership and Friday night’s clash will be a test of their credentials.
These are two exciting games to look forward to so let’s take a closer look at all four teams as the action fast approaches.
What: North Queensland Cowboys v New Zealand Warriors
Where: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
When: 18:00 (AEST) Friday 19th August 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Cowboys 9/100, Warriors 13/2
The Cowboys have had an outstanding season so far and now just need to hold their nerve over the remaining three games to hold second spot on the ladder and earn a home final in Townsville.
They are level on points with Cronulla Sharks at the moment but have a much better points difference over their rivals and will look to build on that against the Warriors.
North Queensland will be keen to bounce back from just their sixth defeat of the season last week when they went down 32-18 against the Sydney Roosters.
They are also handed a big boost with the news that experienced winger Kyle Feldt is set to return to action after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury.
The Warriors meanwhile have had a tough season when winning just six games from 21 to sit in 13th spot on the ladder.
They can take heart from the way they have played in recent weeks and should be feeling good about themselves after smashing the Canterbury Bulldogs 42-18 last week.
Stacey Jones’ side played some great footy and will look to carry that into the clash against the Cowboys. They have a tough couple of games with the Panthers coming up the week after.
So for now it is all about trying to build some momentum to carry into the 2023 campaign when they will have new coach Andrew Webster at the helm.
The Warriors have no fresh injury worries with Jones naming the same 17 that thrashed the Bulldogs.
What: Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm
Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
When: 19:55 (AEST) Friday 19th August 2022
How to watch: Channel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Broncos 17/10, Storm 47/100
The clash between the Broncos and the Storm has all the makings of a classic game and is one of the highlights of round 23 as there is plenty at stake for both sides.
Brisbane have suffered some disappointing results of late but they got back to winning ways with a win over the Newcastle Knights last week and will be looking to build on it.
They sit in sixth spot and still have an outside chance of making the top four so a victory over the Storm, who sit in fourth spot, would boost their chances.
The Broncos will stick with the same side that beat the Knights and have players in the form of Adam Reynolds, Payne Haas and Selwyn Cobbo that can hurt the Storm.
Cobbo has 15 line breaks this season, while fellow winger Corey Oates has 18, so both players will be a huge threat on Friday night.
Star forward Payne Haas continues to play through some injury niggles and will be a big influence on the game.
Melbourne are starting to find their feat again and were very impressive in the 16-0 win over the Penrith Panthers last week.
Switching star playmaker Cameron Munster to fullback proved to be a masterstroke and he looks sure to continue there for the remainder of the campaign while Ryan Papenhuyzen remains on the sidelines.
The Storm have also been handed a massive boost with the news that Jahrome Hughes is set to return to the side after missing last week with a shoulder injury.
Melbourne won the corresponding fixture by 12 points back in round 15 and another close encounter looks to be on the cards on Friday night.
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