We take a look at Friday nights NRL Finals match between the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers. The Broncos go in as the short priced favourites although the Panthers are certainly no easy beats and this does look closer than odds would suggest. View our Brisbane Broncos vs Penrith Panthers Tips.
When: 19:55 | Friday 15/09/2017
Where: Suncorp Stadium
Watch: Channel 9, Fox League or 📺 Watch Online for FREE HERE on your📱 or 💻.
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*Odds correct at time of posting. Subject to change
Broncos v Panthers – five big questions
FIVE BIG QUESTIONS AHEAD OF THE NRL SEMI-FINAL BETWEEN BRISBANE AND PENRITH
Brisbane v Penrith
NRL first semi-final
Suncorp Stadium, Friday 7.55pm September 15
* Will Darius Boyd play on his dodgy hamstring?
Some would argue his absence with a hamstring injury was the reason why the Broncos couldn’t finish off their comeback over the Sydney Roosters on Friday night. Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says the team have to move on from waiting on their skipper. But there’s no doubting Boyd’s classy touches in attack and talk in defence makes a game-changing impact on their team.
* Will Matt Moylan play juggling his dodgy hamstring and other issues?
Like his Broncos counterpart, Moylan has a nagging hamstring injury too. But the embattled Penrith skipper has also been granted time off to deal with personal issues – some of which have been caused by his football. Panthers coach Anthony Griffin, who continues to deny any rift with the star five-eighth, left the door open for Moylan’s return.
* Who will win the battle of the Broncos coach and ex-Broncos coach?
In what shapes as the biggest subplot of the semi-final, Griffin returns to Suncorp Stadium for the third time since being shafted as coach for Bennett in 2014. The good news for Panthers fans is that Griffin has only lost twice against the master coach, but the bad news is the second one was earlier this year. The head-to-head record is easily Bennett’s worst against all rival coaches. Stand-in skipper Peter Wallace also faces the Broncos where he played six seasons leaving in 2013.
* Was there a time when the Suncorp Stadium factor was a myth?
Despite their dominance in the 1990s and 2000s, the Broncos lost their first six finals games at Suncorp Stadium between 1995-2008. However that streak was snapped in 2009, and the Broncos have remained undefeated in six matches since, scoring at least 31 points in three of them. Brisbane are also 9-3 at home this year, with their 325 points the second most of any team at home.
* Will a wealth of finals experience be an advantage?
If you include Darius Boyd’s 22 finals games, the Broncos have a total 153 games of finals experience in their 17. On the other hand, Penrith have 71, six of which were in last weekend’s shock win over Manly.