Clash of the Sams a highlight of big game
Bustling Sam Thaiday will start his first game of the 2016 NRL season with a head-on collision against English international Sam Burgess after being promoted to replace injured back-rower Alex Glenn in tonight's showdown with South Sydney.
Kiwi international Glenn has succumbed to a nasty hip injury, suffered after being the victim of a 'knees-in' tackle during the 53-0 thrashing of Newcastle last weekend.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett said Glenn was the third Broncos player to be injured as a result of a rival player dropping their knees in a tackle.
"I'm going to make a phone call (to the NRL) today. It's the third one for the season and it's cost us again," he said.
While Bennett stopped short of saying the kneeing was deliberate, he said players had to take more responsibility for their actions in certain situations on the field to avoid potential injury.
"Everybody knows the two hardest parts of our bodies are our elbows and our knees. I haven't liked any of them (knees-in tackles) that I have seen," he said.
Bennett said he was uncertain whether Glenn would be back for next weekend's big away clash with Cronulla.
"I don't know, maybe another week. He's got a huge bruise from his ribs right down to his lower leg," the coach said.
Glenn's withdrawal, and Thaiday's elevation to Brisbane's starting pack, opens the door for youngster Herman Ese'ese to make his debut for the Broncos off the interchange bench.
Thaiday, who has played a big role in Brisbane's great start to the season as an impact player off the bench, returns to his more familiar starting role as an enforcer against a Souths pack, led by Burgess, but hurting from two recent losses and some stinging criticism they were no longer feared by rivals.
Brisbane can equal a 97-year-old record if it keeps the Rabbitohs scoreless tonight, after beating the Dragons 26-0 and Newcastle 53-0.
The last team to hold an opposition team scoreless in three successive games was Eastern Suburbs in 1919.
Suncorp Stadium holds no fears for South Sydney, whose captain Greg Inglis plays his best football at the ground.
The Rabbitohs bashed Brisbane 36-6 in round one last season, and the last time they travelled north for an Anzac weekend clash they won 28-26.
That was the night Inglis beat seven Brisbane defenders in a 90m run to score one of the great NRL tries.