Both these teams were exposed for what they are in heavy losses last week.
The Cowboys' 28-4 thumping from the Tigers showed how much they need to add some potent strike weapons in the backline, not to mention another quality playmaker to ease the pressure on Michael Morgan and Jake Clifford.
The Broncos went into last week's clash with Melbourne in reasonable form and felt good about their chances of winning, especially on home soil.
As it turned out they were dealt a harsh dose of reality, as the Storm made them look like boys playing against men.
Match: Cowboys v Broncos
Round 21 -
Venue: 1300SMILES Stadium, Townsville
Cowboys: Jordan McLean is a late scratching for North Queensland after injuring his calf in the captain's run, with Matt Scott starting and Peter Hola joining the bench. Reuben Cotter drops off the extended bench. The two men to drop out of the extended squad 24 hours before kick-off were Taulagi and Corey Jensen.
Broncos: Gehamat Shibasaki replaces Alex Glenn (knee) at centre, with Herbie Farnworth and Shaun Fensom dropping off the reserves list on game day. Origin forward Matt Gillett is still battling a lower back injury and will not play. His absence if offset by the return of Tevita Pangai jnr from suspension. Joe Ofahengaue has been promoted to the starting side with Thomas Flegler going to the bench.
Fullback for Cowboys is number 1 Scott DrinkwaterFullback for Broncos is number 1 Anthony Milford
Winger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle FeldtWinger for Broncos is number 2 Corey Oates
Centre for Cowboys is number 3 Coen HessCentre for Broncos is number 3 Kotoni Staggs
Centre for Cowboys is number 4 Tom OpacicCentre for Broncos is number 18 Gehamat Shibasaki
Winger for Cowboys is number 5 Gideon Gela-MosbyWinger for Broncos is number 5 Jamayne Isaako
Five-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Michael MorganFive-Eighth for Broncos is number 6 Darius Boyd
Halfback for Cowboys is number 7 Jake CliffordHalfback for Broncos is number 7 Jake Turpin
Prop for Cowboys is number 8 Josh McGuireProp for Broncos is number 8 Matthew Lodge
Hooker for Cowboys is number 9 Jake GranvilleHooker for Broncos is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Cowboys is number 15 Matthew ScottProp for Broncos is number 10 Payne Haas
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Gavin Cooper2nd Row for Broncos is number 11 David Fifita
2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Shane Wright2nd Row for Broncos is number 12 Tevita Pangai Junior
Lock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason TaumaloloLock for Broncos is number 13 Joe Ofahengaue
Interchange for Cowboys is number 14 John AsiataInterchange for Broncos is number 14 James Segeyaro
Interchange for Cowboys is number 16 Scott BoltonInterchange for Broncos is number 15 Thomas Flegler
Interchange for Cowboys is number 17 Francis MoloInterchange for Broncos is number 16 Rhys Kennedy
Interchange for Cowboys is number 18 Peter HolaInterchange for Broncos is number 17 Patrick Carrigan
- Referee: Matt Cecchin
- Referee: Gavin Badger
- Touch Judge: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Video Referee: Bryan Norrie
- Senior Review Official: Steve Chiddy
Electric custodian Scott Drinkwater is the Cowboys' biggest weapon, his sheer pace and natural instincts making him one to watch. Anthony Milford has been fantastic since reverting to fullback for Brisbane and the Samoan international will be key in attack.
For the Cowboys to win
It's the same old story each week but the Cowboys need to get more from their hit-and-miss outside backs, while Clifford is still yet to prove himself as a full-time NRL playmaker. The youthful Broncos will be licking their wounds after last week's shellacking and it could work strongly in the Cowboys' favour.
For the Broncos to win
After being humbled so emphatically by the Storm, the Broncos have to do their best to rid themselves of negative thoughts. It probably wouldn't hurt if Anthony Seibold showed his players some highlights of their better performances during the season to help them get last week's performance out of their system.
Brett Kimmorley says
Brisbane need to respond after that bad performance against Melbourne as they are still in semi-final calculations. Their senior players need to stand up. Darius Boyd has been challenged this year and I think he has responded pretty well. For the Cowboys, they have nothing to fear but they have lost confidence. When they make one mistake the wheels seem to fall off. Broncos by 6
Brisbane lead the competition for tackle busts (680) – a stat that doesn't bode well for the Cowboys given they're seventh in the missed tackle department (597).
And another thing ...
They won't make the finals but revenge should be high on the agenda for the Cowboys after losing 29-10 to Brisbane in round two at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos led 10-0 at half-time and scored two quick tries early in the second half to put the game to bed. Corey Oates scored twice for the Broncos, while Anthony Milford kicked a meaningless field goal with a minute remaining that didn't sit well with the Cowboys.