Battle-hardened Broncos value to weather Storm
Premier Sports, 9.05am Thursday
It's often said that lightning never strikes twice but try telling that to the Brisbane Broncos.
Just as was the case in the 2015 Grand Final, Wayne Bennett's men were beaten in golden-point extra-time at the hands of state rivals North Queensland last week. But they can make amends when they head to the unbeaten Melbourne Storm on Thursday morning.
The Broncos have endured an exacting early-season schedule, heading over to England for the World Club Series before taking on reigning champions Cronulla in week one and the Cowboys last week.
But that should mean they are battle-hardened for the test ahead against last season's Grand Final runners-up.
The Broncos' uncompromising forward pack have made a great start to the season, dominating their Sharks counterparts in the 26-18 week one victory and making the lion's share of the 1911 metres the Broncos made in defeat to the Cowboys.
A repeat of those performances will certainly give them the platform to prosper at AAMI Park in what is sure to be another close encounter.
Bookmakers make Broncos 8-5 to replicate last season's round-25 victory at Melbourne but backing Brisbane with a general four-point start on the handicap looks a safer play.
Melbourne, who welcome back superstar full-back Billy Slater after a year out with injury, have made their customary strong start to the NRL campaign with away wins over the Bulldogs (12-6) and Warriors (26-10).
However, neither of those sides are particularly fancied for honours this term and Brisbane will pose a much greater threat.
Brisbane Broncos +4
2pts 21-20 bet365