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NRL: Broncos must bounce back against Titans

Brisbane Broncos will be out to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they take on the Gold Coast Titans in another derby clash on Saturday evening.

The Broncos remain top of the ladder despite the defeat against Canberra Raiders but they need to respond when they face the Titans at Cbus Super Stadium. 

Penrith Panthers will also be keen to keep their good run going when they make the short trip to take on the Newcastle Knights. 

New Zealand Warriors take on the Cowboys in the early kick-off on Saturday, while there are also two games to look forward to on Sunday. 

The Raiders should be buzzing after that win over the Broncos and will be keen to go back-to-back against a St George Illawarra Dragons side that are feeling the heat. 

Parramatta Eels and Canterbury Bulldogs, who are side by side on the ladder, wrap up the action in the late kick-off on Sunday. 

There is plenty of action to look forward to, so let’s take a closer look at the team news.

Warriors and Cowboys looking for response

WhatNew Zealand Warriors v North Queensland Cowboys
WhereMt Smart Stadium, Auckland
When15:00 (AEST) Saturday 15th April 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNew Zealand Warriors 1.91, North Queensland Cowboys 1.91

Both the Warriors and Cowboys slipped to defeats in round six and will be attempting to bounce back in the opening game on Saturday. 

The Warriors have impressed in the early part of the campaign but were poor in a 10-point loss against the Knights. 

They have also been hit by the news that two big players from the spine of the team, Te Maire Martin and Wayde Egan are ruled out with leg and concussion issues respectively. 

North Queensland will be without Griffin Neame for the long-term due to a throat injury, but they are boosted as back-rower Jeremiah Nanai returns from suspension.

Knights ready for Panthers test

WhatNewcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers
WhereMcDonald Jones Stadium, Sydney 
When17:30 (AEST) Saturday 15th April 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsNewcastle Knights 5.50, Penrith Panthers 1.15

The Knights are undefeated in the last three games and although they impressed in the win over the Warriors, they will face their biggest test yet against the Panthers. 

Penrith have wrapped up convincing wins over the Raiders and Manly Sea Eagles in the last two games and are finally starting to gel again after losing key players in the off-season. 

The Panthers look sure to challenge for a third-straight premiership and they are the hot fancies to turn over the Knights in the Hunter. 

Ivan Cleary has no fresh injury concerns but Liam Martin is in with a chance of returning to the side. 

Newcastle have been left stunned as Jayden Brailey has been ruled out for the season with a damaged ACL. Phoenix Crossland will play at hooker to fill the void.

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Bragging rights at stake at Gold Coast

WhatGold Coast Titans v Brisbane Broncos
WhereCbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast 
When19:35 (AEST) Saturday 15th April 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsGold Coast Titans 3.25, Brisbane Broncos 1.35

The Broncos have already won two derby games this season and could do with number three as they look to bounce back from the Raiders loss. 

Coach Kevin Walters is forced into just one change as Thomas Flegler is ruled out after failing a HIA last week, so Corey Jensen will start in the front row. 

Gold Coast are buzzing after a late win over the Dragons and get another boost as Kieran Foran returns to the side following a calf injury. However it is not all good news as Toby Sexton is ruled out with a fractured wrist.

Raiders look to build on Broncos win

WhatCanberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons
WhereGIO Stadium, Canberra
When14:00 (AEST) Sunday 16th April 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsCanberra Raiders 1.44, St George Illawarra Dragons 2.80

The Raiders hope the shock win over the Broncos will finally kick-start their season as they look to play finals once again in 2023. 

Coach Ricky Stuart will change a winning side though as star playmaker Jack Wighton is back available following suspension. So too is Joseph Tapine, who missed the Broncos win due to the birth of his child. 

Nic Cotric is also back following a hamstring injury. The Dragons will be without Francis Molo for three games due to suspension, so Zane Musgrove comes in at prop.

Bulldogs up against it

WhatParramatta Eels v Canterbury Bulldogs 
WhereCommBank Stadium, Sydney 
When16:05 (AEST) Sunday 16th April 2023
How to watchChannel 9, Kayo, Foxtel
OddsParramatta Eels 1.31, Canterbury Bulldogs 3.50

Parramatta impressed on Easter Monday when brushing aside Wests Tigers and are boosted by the return of co-captain Junior Paulo from suspension. 

The Bulldogs were hammered 50-16 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs last start and have since been hit by a couple of massive injury blows. 

Star winger Josh Addo-Carr is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury. Not only that, Viliame Kikau could be out for up to 10 weeks with a pectoral injury he suffered in training in midweek.

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