The Brisbane Broncos may have lost the recent showdown with NRL Premiership leaders the Sydney Roosters, but that doesn’t mean the team is out of the running for the title.
Although the run towards the top of the league is now harder than it once was, the Broncos’ players are still confident they have the necessary grit and determination to win the title.
Indeed, the loss to the Roosters was by the narrowest of margins (just two points) and the recent news that Sydney’s Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Mitchell Pearce are both out of the side for a prolonged period should give the Broncos a cause for optimism.
Not a “Four-gone” Conclusion
Moreover, given that the Broncos have mastered the “four try” tactic in the Premiership, there’s a chance the side can easily score enough points to blast away the competition throughout the remainder of the season.
Of course, the stats do sometimes lie, but according to Fox Sports Lab, teams that cross the try line four times in a game go on to win 81% of the time. This stat becomes even more pertinent when recent analysis reveals that when teams score three tries or less in the NRL, they go on to win just 22% of the time.
Fortunately, for the Broncos, the ability to attain this target has been plain for all to see. On the way to winning 11 out of 11 matches, the Broncos scored four+ tries in each game. Naturally, the slip against the Roosters was a blemish on the otherwise perfect record, but the fact remains that the team is capable of scoring and, more importantly, scoring at will.
Roosters Still Crowing
However, for all the attacking prowess of the Broncos, they are only second in line for the title with odds of 4.80 with the likes of bet365 at the time of writing. In contrast, the Roosters are currently pitched at 3.75.
Part of this seems to lie in the fact that the Roosters have been extremely tight in defence this season. Although this season’s defensive performances have been far below Sydney’s usual standards, the latest victory against the Broncos proves that the strength is still there when necessary.
In a game that many have called the most exciting in the league this season, the Roosters were able to edge out the Broncos through a combination of determination and a slice of good fortune.
Pressure + Odds Could Tell the Tale
However, with the two teams now sitting virtually even in the league, it’s obvious to see why the odds don’t heavily favour the Roosters. Although the side emerged victorious from a tough game, the ten points conceded all came in the second half of the game which suggests the side could be growing tired as the season progresses.
If this is true then the Brisbane Broncos have a real chance of snatching the title as the season draws to a close. Indeed, the injuries sustained by Waerea-Hargreaves and Pearce certainly won’t help the side if things are starting to take their toll.
As always, the NRL has a way of surprising us and, regardless of what the betting experts or the fans say, there’s a lot of rugby left to be played this season and anything could happen. However, what is clear is that if the Broncos are going to go down, they certainly won’t be doing so without a fight.