The Bulldogs will head to Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night fresh off the bye looking to register their eighth win of the season.
Currently sitting in 13th, the Bulldogs will be looking to register their second win of the season against the Broncos and below are five questions facing both sides ahead of the clash at Suncorp Stadium.
What will the bye tell us?
The Bulldogs come into the Round 20 fixture in Brisbane fresh off a bye. The bye is a chance for clubs to freshen up and allow players to take their minds away from footy. A week off can re-energise your players or it can take some time to get back into the groove, but what will the break tell us on Thursday night?
Who will start at Nine?
The Bulldogs win in Round 18 over the Newcastle Knights saw Moses Mbye start in the dummy half position with Matt Frawley and Josh Reynolds the halves. Regular number nine Michael Lichaa shifted back to the bench to allow for the change. Will Des Hasler stick with the same formula or start with Lichaa at number nine and move Frawley back to the bench for Thursday’s clash with the Broncos?
How will the Broncos respond?
The Broncos head into the clash with the Bulldogs off a win over the Knights and will be coming into the match with a five day preparation. Brisbane also rested Origin forwards Matt Gillett and Josh Maguire last weekend following the Maroons win over the Blues. After going down to the Bulldogs earlier in the season, the Broncos will be looking for revenge on Thursday night. So will a short turn around help or hinder the home side?
How crucial is Thursday’s clash with the Broncos?
The Bulldogs sit on 18 competition points and in 13th position on the NRL ladder. With only seven weeks of the home and away season remaining, a win is all that matters against the fourth placed Broncos. At the same stage of the season last year, the Bulldogs had won an extra four games and with six of their seven remaining games against teams above them on the ladder, how important is Thursday’s game at Suncorp Stadium?
Who will be the Broncos 6 and 7?
The Broncos welcomed back Anthony Milford last weekend from a hamstring injury. His return saw Benji Marshall shift back to the bench and Kodi Nikorima drop out of the 17. Wayne Bennett has experimented with his halves all year and with Nikorima re-signing with the club, how does Bennett fit four halves into three?