Rugby league: Brisbane Broncos lose two key players for Warriors clash

  • 14/07/2018
James Roberts isn't in the best of shape after Wednesday night's State of Origin III.
James Roberts isn't in the best of shape after Wednesday night's State of Origin III. Photo credit: Getty

NSW Origin centre James Roberts and emerging forward Tevita Pangai will miss Brisbane's crunch NRL clash with the Warriors.

Coach Wayne Bennett said Roberts' omission was always on the cards as he manages persistent achilles soreness but that Pangai's (hamstring) injury only reared its head at Saturday's captain's run.

Patrick Mago has been added to the bench for Sunday's encounter while teenager David Fifita will start and backrower Jaydn Su'A will shift to the centres.

Bennett said his men would take the double blow in their stride given the disruptions they have already dealt with this season.

"It doesn't really phase us; we've been through a season with a lot of players missing and people putting their hand up getting the job done," he said.

"We've got a strong squad here at the moment."

The Broncos sit in seventh, equal on points with the Warriors but ahead on points differential.

It effectively making the Suncorp Stadium clash a double points fixture in pursuit of a top four spot.

Stephen Kearney's side have fallen away after a fast start, losing 36-4 to Penrith last weekend to slip behind the Broncos on the ladder.

"They're a good quality team, started the season great, having a tough time at the moment but they'll want to come here and turn it all around," Bennett said.

Brisbane have won their past three with Sunday's 34-0 defeat of the Titans their first victory of nine points or more all season.

A top four finish is on the wish list, with games against Penrith (fourth), Cronulla (fifth) and Canterbury (15th) to follow.

"Yeah we're in a good position, played a lot of good football at different parts of the year," Bennett said.

"But we've got a tough month in front of us."

AAP 

Live updates of the Warriors v Broncos from 4pm Sunday.