Round 22: 5 Things You Should Know
Bulldogs.com.au takes an in-depth look at five areas of the Brisbane Broncos game in 2015 and what are their strengths and weaknesses.
#1: DUMMY HALF METRE-EATERS
The Brisbane Broncos are ranked number two in the NRL for dummy half metres with 2396 for the season, second behind the Rabbitohs who have 2446 metres for the season.
The Broncos have ran from dummy half 277 times in 2015 and the main contributor is Justin Hodges.
He has had 94 dummy half runs in 2015, which equates to 34% of the Broncos dummy half runs in 2015 and has a total of 856 metres from dummy half, which equates to 36% of the total metres made by the Broncos.
He averages 65.8 metres and 8 runs from dummy half per game.
Hodges loves to get into dummy half and come out the right hand side of the ruck looking to beat defenders with his right foot step, so every time Hodges gets into dummy half, the Bulldogs should expect him to run.
#2: LEFT EDGE LEAK POINTS
The Brisbane Broncos left edge of Jordan Kahu, Jack Reed, Anthony Milford and Alex Glenn has contributed the most to line break causes, missed tackles and try causes for the team in 2015.
The Broncos have conceded 150 line break causes in 2015, with the left edge giving up 42 of them, which is 28% of the total break causes and have been the centre of 37 try causes out of a total of 132 for the year, again 28% of the try causes have come down their left edge.
The Broncos left edge have also missed a total of 105 tackles out of the 371 the team have missed all year.
The Broncos have missed the least amount of tackles in the NRL with 371, the Bulldogs have missed 43 and the Titans have missed 654, but when your left edge contributes 28% of those missed tackles - it becomes a concern and a target for the opposition.
#3: 7 SET SPECIALIST
The Brisbane Broncos are ranked number one in the NRL for tries scored off a seven tackle restart.
They have scored five tries for the season along with the Raiders off the back of seven tackle restarts.
The new rule designed to eliminate the practice of the fullbacks being taken out of play by kicks deliberately kicked dead in-goal, the first tackle from all 20-metre restarts will be considered a 'zero tackle'.
That means that all kicks that roll dead in-goal – including grubbers and bombs – will gift the defending team seven tackles from their next set, making the precision of the modern kickers even more critical for their team.
The Bulldogs have conceded 28 seven tackle restarts in 2015, so the added pressure for Hodkinson and Mbye will be crucial on Friday night to not allow the Broncos danger men of Anthony Milford, Justin Hodges, Ben Hunt and Darius Boyd to capitalise on the seven tackle restart.
#4: HALF THE PROBLEM
The Brisbane Broncos have been outstanding in 2015, with four losses and sitting on top of the table equal with the North Queensland Cowboys.
The halves in Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford have really stood out with their attack and entertaining footy.
The two have combined for 22 line break assists of the Broncos 67, 21 try assists of 61, have broken 97 tackles this year and have 13 line breaks between them for 2015, but we all know the game of rugby league is built on defence and to win a premiership you need to have your defence in order.
The other side to the halves game has not stood out as their attack.
Both Milford and Hunt have missed a total of 86 tackles, that is 23% of the total tackles the Broncos have missed in 2015, have caused 39 line breaks - 26% of the Broncos total and have caused 31 tries - 23% of the total Broncos try causes in 2015, so expect a lot of traffic to head their way through Josh Jackson and Frank Pritchard.
#5: NEED FOR LINE SPEED
The Broncos have conceded the third most metres in the NRL with a total of 30775 at an average of 1620 per game and the Bulldogs have ran for the third most metres in the NRL with a total of 30392 at an average of 1600 per game.
Line speed is the key to defence and although the Broncos are a team that slide, getting off your line and shutting down the opposition is important when it comes to field position.
The Bulldogs welcome back Aiden Tolman and Frank Pritchard this week to boost their forward pack.
James Graham, David Klemmer and Aiden Tolman all average over 130m per game and with the likes of Sam Kasiano and Tim Browne on the bench, it could be an enjoyable night for the Bulldogs forwards if the Broncos line speed fails to fire on Friday night.