Cowboys v Broncos - XXXX Derby
Round 2, Friday, March 22, Suncorp Stadium
Round 21, August 8, 1300SMILES Stadium
Looking ahead: For the third straight year two of rugby league's fiercest rivals will meet on a Friday night in Round 2 at Suncorp Stadium. The Broncos will then travel north for the XXXX Derby replay at 1300SMILES on a Thursday night in Round 21.
Broncos' changes: Brisbane have been relatively quiet on the recruiting front for 2019, with highly regarded young half Sean O'Sullivan the only signature of note. Centre Tom Opacic joins the Cowboys after securing a release and will be one of the main contenders for the left centre spot vacated by Kane Linnett. Broncos legend Sam Thaiday retired at the end of the 2018 season, while prop Korbin Sims and centre Jonus Pearson departed for the Dragons
'Tatey says': I think they'll be really strong again. A lot does depend on Matt Gillett coming back, they lose Sam Thaiday, but Gillett is a big inclusion after missing the majority of 2018. Tevita Pangai has come out and said he's going to re-sign there, which is really exciting for them as well.
Looking back: The two sides met twice in the 2018 season adding further folklore to what has emerged as the NRL's greatest rivalry. A Johnathan Thurston-led comeback fell just short at Suncorp Stadium in Round 2, with a goal-post getting in the way of Scott Bolton scoring a match-winning try. The Cowboys had their revenge in Round 22, with Coen Hess scoring a late try to snatch a 34-30 victory at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Head-to-head: Played 50; Cowboys 16 wins, Broncos 32 wins, 2 draws
Last 5 clashes:
2018, Round 22: Cowboys def. Broncos 34-30
2018, Round 2: Broncos def. Cowboys 24-20
2017, Round 26: Broncos def. Cowboys 20-10
2017, Round 2: Cowboys def. Broncos 21-20
2016, Finals Week Two: Cowboys def. Broncos 26-20
Finish – NRL ladder: Cowboys 13th v Broncos 6th