We’re NRL finals ready, says Broncos coach

At home and coming into the match on a five-game winning streak, Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has declared his team is ready for sudden-death football.

The Broncos welcome Gold Coast to Suncorp Stadium as strong favourites to knock out their south-east Queensland rivals in Friday’s NRL elimination final.

The Titans haven’t won against the Broncos in Brisbane since the first meeting of the two clubs at the venue in 2007 – losing nine straight since then.

Overall Brisbane have won 15 of 20 clashes between the two sides, Gold Coast’s worst record against any other NRL club.

Bennett’s men also contain over 100 more accumulated finals appearances across their team than their opponents – who are playing finals for the first time since 2010.

“We’re playing well, we’re confident, we’ve got a pretty fit club,” Bennett said.

“I’m pleased we’ve got some momentum going into it, that’s pretty important.”

Despite looking rusty in the opening half of last weekend’s win over the Sydney Roosters, the Broncos were imperious the weekend before as they shocked Melbourne at AAMI Park.

Titans coach Neil Henry admits if the Broncos turn up in the same attitude as they did against the Storm, they’ll be tough to stop.

“If they replicate that performance it’ll make it extremely hard,” Henry said.

“That was an outstanding performance by the team. It proves that they’ve got that in them.

“What we need to do is counter that if they’re turning up like that. Really get in the grind. That’s something we’ve been able to do all year is hang in games. It’ll be no different tomorrow night.”

Brisbane have been forced into one change with Tom Opacic (shoulder) ruled out.

Young winger Jonus Pearson will come in for just his second NRL appearance with Jordan Kahu to take Opacic’s place in the centres.

Representative forward Josh McGuire, hooker Andrew McCullough and bench forward Alex Glenn are all right to play after training on Thursday.

The Titans head north with no injury dramas and are set to name the same team which played North Queensland in Townsville last weekend.

BRONCOS v TITANS – Key match stats

* Brisbane have hosted a final 11 times, losing their first six but winning all of their most recent five.

* Titans’ coach Neil Henry has won just one of five finals matches in his career but that win was against the Broncos for the Cowboys in 2012.

* Gold Coast have lost their past eight away matches in Queensland.

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