We’ve reached the penultimate round of the regular season, meaning the stakes are extremely high in Round 24 for those still in the finals hunt. We kick it off at 7:50pm on Thursday, when the Brisbane Broncos (8th) host the Parramatta Eels (5th) at Suncorp Stadium. Both teams are very likely to finish in the bottom half of the 8, but the Eels can still dream of chasing down the Storm in 4th place (they play each other next week), and the Broncos can be caught by the Raiders who have two very winnable games. They’ll be giving this one everything they’ve got.

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Team News

The Broncos initially had one change but announced three more on Wednesday. Cobbo and Hoeter are out of the backline, with Brenko Lee (centre) and Jordan Pereira (wing) filling their spots. Ryan James and Rhys Kennedy are the other outs, with Kennan Palasia and Zac Hosting coming onto the bench, with Kobe Hetherington promoted to start. There’s a handful of first-choice players not in this team which has led to an inconsistent second half of the season.

Both of the Eels changes come on the bench, where Bryce Cartwright and Ofahiki Ogden are replaced by Makahesi Makatoa and Jake Arthur (utility). Unlike the Broncos, this is very close to a best 17 and the Eels are firming for a run at going deep into the finals.

Betting Odds

Broncos $2.35 v Eels $1.60 - Bet now at Ladbrokes!


The Broncos have the benefit of being at home, but I like the Eels a bit more than these odds suggest. That will lend itself to stacking up some Eels backline players, who are still fairly cheap. When it comes to the forwards, everyone is priced up relatively high, which will require some compromises to put a solid line-up together. There’s also enough interesting cheap Broncos to keep the line-ups fairly balanced no matter how the game pans out.


Love It - Maika Sivo $12,220

I’ll start with a bit of an obvious choice, but one that’s it’s just very hard to ignore on this slate. This price is possibly about right for the 35-40 average that Sivo usually posts, but it’s way too low when we consider his 60+ ceiling (scored a 101 last season!) and the decent matchup. Part of the appeal of said matchup is about Cobbo going out on the right wing, leaving Jordan Pereira to try to contain the large winger. Pereira can put on a big hit, but I’m not sure he can make the defensive decisions to keep Sivo at bay all night long.


Love It - Mitch Moses $20,540

It’s a packed field at the top of the HH position, and it’s not easy to split them. At the end of the day I’m picking Moses over Reynolds on form. He’s been strong all season, and the Eels are going well. Meanwhile, Reynolds form has mirrored that of his team (or the other way around), as his average has dropped to 53 in the second half of the season (from 66 early). I’d call Moses a clear #1, with Reynolds and Dylan Brown much harder to split.


Love It - Payne Haas $20,100

I’m spending up in a couple of spots, because Haas joins Moses in being a little too cheap for his enormous upside. Haas hasn’t shown the same consistency, but I’m willing to ignore last week’s score of 35 in a game that got wildly out of hand very early. His 6-week average of 62 before that is a fair estimate of his expected output, and you’d have to think the team will be more up for this one. He’s only marginally ahead of Papali’i thanks to a $1500 discount, but I’m looking to spend up for at least one of these big forwards in most line-ups.


Hate It - Jordan Riki $15,000

The young backorder has re-discovered some form in the second half of the season, averaging 46 in his last 12 games. He’s scored 60+ twice in that run, but that was against the Tigers and the Knights. Other than that his best score is a 51, which was against the Eels. Even if he repeats that effort, it’s not going to win you anything at this middling price tag. There are enough cheaper options with similar upside (Hetherington, Paulo, Capewell), and I’ve already indicated my desire to get up to the premiums.


Hate It - Reed Mahoney $15,870

Mahoney suffers from a similar problem on this slate. He’s cheaper than usual, but his form is down (Ave 46 in his last 10), and it’s just a lot more appealing to spend up to one of his teammates. His only impressive score in that run was a 72, which required two tries. His normal base stats have dried up for most of the season, and I think he only becomes relevant on this slate if all of the premiums above him fail to score 60+.


Who Knows - Waqa Blake $9,000

With both teams featuring largely known quantities, I thought I’d give Blake a mention as he’s hard to ignore at minimum price. His role on the wing is less lucrative, but still brings about a 30 average and plenty of upside when crossing the line. I’m not sure if the right side is going to be the Eels avenue to points on most occasions, but it’s certainly possible that he scores multiple tries and becomes by far the best play on the slate. Again, there could be some ownership here, so I won’t be chasing him too heavily if I can help it.

Draftstars Suggested Team

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