NRL grand final Brisbane penpix

HOW BRISBANE STACK UP FOR THE 2015 NRL GRAND FINAL

DARIUS BOYD – fullback

Age: 28

NRL games: 221

Grand finals: 2

Made a slow return from a pre-season injury after following Wayne Bennett back to Brisbane, but brings big-game experience and error-free football into the decider. Won the Clive Churchill Medal for best on-field with the Dragons in 2010.

COREY OATES – wing

Age: 20

NRL games: 53

Grand finals: 0

At 1.92m and 107kg, Oates looks more like a bustling back-rower than winger, however Bennett has got the best out of the Central Queensland product. His 13 tries, 54 tackle busts and 11 line breaks this season show why he is an unlikely x-factor.

JACK REED – centre

Age: 27

NRL games: 116

Grand finals: 0

While widely regarded as a defensive centre, his combination with Anthony Milford has been sensational and given the side punch on the left edge.

JUSTIN HODGES – centre

Age: 33

NRL games: 250

Grand finals: 3

Sentimental value aside, Brisbane will be relieved their skipper was cleared of a dangerous throw at the judiciary. Even in the twilight of his career he still gets through plenty of hard work early bringing the team out of their own end early in the set, averaging nine metres per run.

JORDAN KAHU – winger

Age: 24

NRL games: 34

Grand finals: 0

After managing just 12 games in the previous four years because of serious knee injuries, Kahu has finally been allowed to fulfil his rich promise. Will have his work cut out defending the Cowboys’ bombs after becoming something of a target this year, but has so far dealt with them relatively safely.

ANTHONY MILFORD – five-eighth

Age: 21

NRL games: 68

Grand finals: 0

Struggled to find his feet in the first seven rounds after his off-season switch from Canberra but since then has 17 try assists, 14 line-breaks and nine tries in 17 matches. His combination with Ben Hunt will prove pivotal.

BEN HUNT – halfback

Age: 25

NRL games: 139

Grand finals: 0

Blink and you miss it. The former bench utility’s show-and-go is certain to get a run Sunday, given it’s been behind most of the 27 tries and 30 line breaks he has set-up this year. Predicting it pre-match will be easy for the Cowboys, stopping it mid-match will prove much harder.

SAM THAIDAY – prop

Age: 30

NRL games: 230

Grand finals: 1

After being relegated to the bench early in the season by Bennett, has exploded back to his tough, hard-running best as one half of Brisbane’s Fro Bros alongside Adam Blair. Will be charged with stopping the rampant Cowboys pack.

ANDREW MCCULLOUGH – hooker

Age: 25

NRL games: 174

Grand finals: 0

A true work horse in defence and his delivery out of dummy half has also improved under the tutelage of Bennett. Made 50 more tackles than any other player during the regular season and also provides another kicking option from the play-the-ball.

ADAM BLAIR – prop

Age: 29

NRL games: 214

Grand finals: 3

Maligned during an unimpressive stint with the Wests Tigers, NZ star Blair has reinvented himself at Brisbane and turned himself into an enforcer. Will offer plenty of options at the line against the Cowboys, with his passing game creating four line breaks for teammates this year.

ALEX GLENN – second row

Age: 27

NRL games: 167

Grand finals: 0

Doesn’t win the same plaudits as some of his colleagues, but is one of Brisbane’s most consistent. His speed and prowess in the defensive line is a real reason behind the Broncos success, providing plenty of cover for the smaller Milford inside him.

MATT GILLETT – second row

Age: 27

NRL games: 131

Grand finals: 0

Hard-hitting in defence, he will create second phase play with his offloads. Also has plenty of big game experience and won’t shy away from the physical encounter.

COREY PARKER – lock

Age: 33

NRL games: 322

Grand finals: 1

Arguably the form forward of the NRL this year at age 33, he has been tireless in defence and North Queensland will need to shut down one of the best offloads in the league.

JARROD WALLACE – prop

Age: 24

NRL games: 46

Grand finals: 0

One of the quiet achievers for the Broncos this year, will get through a tonne of defensive work off the bench.

MITCHELL DODDS – forward

Age: 26

NRL games: 75

Grand finals: 0

Departing for England after Sunday’s game, underrated in many respects and has been good off the bench. Shutting down the opposing Cowboys forwards as they look to get on another second-half roll will prove vital

JO OFAHENGAUE – prop

Age: 20

NRL games: 13

Grand finals: 0

Felt the pain of a grand-final loss last season in the under-20s for the Broncos but has already proven himself to be made of the right stuff this year. Is a big powerful runner who should have real impact off the bench.

KODI NIKORIMA – utility

Age: 21

NRL games: 19

Grand finals: 0

Has given the side real zip when coming on late in the game and will provide attacking spark out of dummy half and through the middle. Also played in the club’s under-20s grand-final loss last year.

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