NRL finals dream go on the line for floundering Brisbane side.
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin has called in the reinforcements with eight players called into the start 17-man squad to take on the Cronulla Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
With the side again hit by players away with State of Origin duty, Griffin has been lucky to be able to call upon several players who have regained fitness for the important round 18 clash.
After their 32-point thrashing at the hands of the Melbourne Storm last round the Broncos find themselves in a precarious position in 13th with just six wins this season.
Another heavy loss could mean they need to rely on other results to go their way to climb back up to the top eight later in the season.
Among others called into the side, Griffin has named exciting youngster Corey Oates to starting centre in place of Jack Reed (collarbone, round 22).
Matt Gillett, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Justin Hodges won’t play the next two weeks due Origin and the bye.
Ben Hannant (calf), Jordan Kahu (thumb) and David Stagg (knee) return from injury, while former Rooster Lama Tasi makes his Brisbane debut.
Cronulla has suffered through a stuttering five weeks of football, with coach Shane Flanagan desperate for a level of consistency from his side.
Apart from an excellent two-point win over competition leader South Sydney and solid wins over the lowly placed Parramatta and Wests Tigers, the Sharks have been at the mercy of the Storm (32-point loss) and the Cowboys (20-point loss).
In a boost for the side‘s chances Michael Gordon has again been named after a bunch of false starts while Tyrone Peachey has been called into the side given the absences of Luke Lewis, Andrew Fifita (both NSW), Anthony Tupou (knee, indefinite) and Paul Gallen (foot, round 19).
Todd Carney is an interesting point of difference as he looks to prove the selectors wrong for leaving him out of the New South Wales State of Origin side for the entire series.
Tip: Brisbane by 4
BRISBANE BRONCOS v CRONULLA SHARKS at Suncorp Stadium
BRONCOS: Corey Norman, Jordan Kahu, Corey Oates, Josh Hoffman, Lachlan Maranta, Scott Prince, Peter Wallace, Ben Hannant, Andrew McCullough, Josh McGuire, Alex Glenn (capt), David Stagg, Mitchell Dodds. Interchange: Ben Hunt, David Hala, Dunamis Lui, Lama Tasi, Jarrod Wallace, Nick Slyney, Scott Anderson (three to be omitted).
Ins: Jordan Kahu, Dunamis Lui, Lama Tasi, David Stagg, Ben Hannant, Jarrod Wallace, Nick Slyney, Scott Anderson
Outs: Matt Gillett, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges (all Queensland), Jack Reed (collarbone, round 22)
Others unavailable: Dale Copley (knee, indefinite)
SHARKS: Michael Gordon, Sosaia Feki, Stewart Mills, Jonathan Wright, Nathan Stapleton, Todd Carney, Jeff Robson, Bryce Gibbs, John Morris, Sam Tagataese, Jayson Bukuya, Wade Graham (capt), Chris Heighington. Interchange: Isaac De Gois, Tyrone Peachey, Mark Taufua, Ben Ross, Ben Pomeroy (one to be omitted).
Ins: Michael Gordon, Mark Taufua, Ben Ross, Ben Pomeroy
Outs: Luke Lewis, Andrew Fifita (both NSW), Anthony Tupou (knee, indefinite)
Others unavailable: Ricky Leutele (ankle, indefinite), Jon Green (foot, indefinite), Nathan Gardner (hamstring, indefinite), Paul Gallen (foot, round 19), Beau Ryan (knee, indefinite)
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