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NRL: Broncos and Panthers battle headlines Friday double

There’s two games from the NRL to look forward to on Friday night with undoubtedly the clash between last year’s finalists the Brisbane Broncos and the Penrith Panthers the headline action.

Brisbane were on course for the title last season in the final, before a stunning comeback from the Panthers saw Penrith seal their third consecutive grand final victory.

If the clash at Suncorp Stadium is the main course then the battle between the Cronulla Sharks and the Gold Coast Titans that kicks off two hours earlier is the appetiser.

Sharks can put Titans to the sword

. What: Cronulla Sharks v Gold Coast Titans
. Where: C.ex Coffs International Stadium, Coffs Harbour
. When: 18:00 (AEST), Friday 5th July 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
. Odds: Cronulla Sharks 1.44, Gold Coast Titans 2.80

The Sharks find themselves firmly in the mix for a top-four finish this season and they will be eager to avoid any slip-up against the Gold Coast Titans in Coffs Harbour on Friday evening.

The Titans have managed just fours win in their 15 games so far this season, with only the Parramatta Eels and Wests Tigers below them in the standings.

Narrow back-to-back defeats for the Sharks against the Dolphins and the Canterbury Bulldogs will have dented confidence in the Cronulla camp somewhat but they do look capable of getting back to winning ways here.

The Sharks have won all of their last nine games against the Titans and are 1.44 favourites to make it 10 on the spin this week.

Cronulla are also available at 1.91 with -7.5 in the Line market here.

All eyes on Brisbane battle

. What: Brisbane Broncos v Penrith Panthers
. Where: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
. When: 20:00 (AEST), Friday 5th July 2024
. How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel, Channel 9
. Odds: Brisbane Broncos 2.45, Penrith Panthers 1.56

On to the big one at Suncorp Stadium as the Broncos hope to stop the rot against the reigning NRL champions Penrith.

Brisbane are currently on a four-game losing streak, which has seen them drop out of the top-eight into 10th place on the ladder.

Conceding 112 points in those four defeats, defence has clearly been an issue and will be an area they must improve upon if they are to cause an upset against the Panthers on Friday night.

The returns of Origin stars Reece Walsh, Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas will give the Broncos a much-needed boost but Penrith will also see the cavalry return.

Dylan Edwards, Brian To'o, Jarome Luai, Liam Martin and Isaah Yeo are all back in the starting lineup, for what is set to be an intriguing contest in Brisbane.

The Broncos are 2.45 to claim the victory, while the Panthers are 1.56 to head back to Penrith with the spoils and keep in touching distance of NRL frontrunners Melbourne Storm.

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