Joe Ofahengaue returns to the Broncos. Photo: Dan Peled/ AAP Imaging
Joe Ofahengaue returns to the Broncos. Photo: Dan Peled/ AAP Imaging

Seibold sticks to his guns with finals team

BRONCOS coach Anthony Seibold has stuck to his guns and avoided a finals shake-up for Sunday's do-or-die clash with Parramatta, making just the two changes to the side beaten 30-14 by the Bulldogs last week.

Brisbane will be buoyed by the return of Origin representative Joe Ofahengaue this week after the 23-year-old sat out the past fortnight with a calf injury.

Gehamat Shibasaki has also been pitchforked to make his NRL finals debut this weekend after being named on the bench as cover.

The duo's inclusion has forced out Rhys Kennedy and Izaia Perese from the 17 in the only two changes to the side badly beaten by the Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium last weekend.

It comes as Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston yesterday turned up the heat on Broncos spine combination Anthony Milford, Jake Turpin and Darius Boyd to lead the side to finals success.

Seibold blasted his side for their lack of energy following that match and will be hoping for a better performance by the playing group, who were belted 38-10 last time they played Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium.

Anthony Seibold addresses his players at training. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Anthony Seibold addresses his players at training. (AAP Image/Jono Searle) JONO SEARLE

The head coach earlier this week said he was aware of how difficult this weekend's challenge was going to be.

"They have been very good at home this year," Seibold said.

"They have only lost two games at Bankwest so I'm under no illusions about how tough it will be."

The club's playmaking stock took a massive hit at the weekend after back-up halfback Sean O'Sullivan has been ruled out for the rest of the season with his third knee injury.

The 21-year-old suffered an ACL injury playing for his Intrust Super Cup side Norths Devils on Sunday and will likely require reconstruction surgery.

The young gun was unlikely to play much finals footy but Seibold will have to face another halves headache if either Turpin or Boyd is injured this weekend.

Nineteen-year-old halfback Cory Paix was named in the 21-man team list and would be pitchforked into the playmaking role if injuries do occur.

It will be a baptism by fire for the youngster who is yet to make his NRL debut, however Seibold earlier this year said he was confident in the rookie's ability.

News Corp Australia

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