NRL News

Broncos aim straight against Eels

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Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has called on forwards leader Matt Lodge to expose Parramatta's vulnerable centre as the sides tussle for a top-eight spot on Saturday.

The Eels (26) have conceded 11 more tries than any other NRL team through their centre channel this season.

Seibold said the Broncos started drifting sideways in last round's loss to Gold Coast and has urged his big men to straighten up at Bankwest Stadium.

The coach hailed the leadership and form of Lodge, who he expects to remain in Brisbane despite interest from rival clubs and says deserved to be in the frame for a NSW State of Origin call-up next week.

"Sometimes Lodgey gets not much coverage in regards to how consistent he's been both on and off the field," he said.

"I see real leadership and he's really growing; the younger guys follow him, gravitate towards him."

But the coach also put it on the leader of the Broncos' pack to set the tone on the road this weekend.

"We need to be more direct anyway; we fell in the trap last week of going too sideways," the coach said.

"It starts with our middle forwards - Tevita, Payne Hass, Lodgey - they've got to run hard and run hard first.

"That's what our weapon is ... we've got the fastest play the balls in the competition, then we bring (halves) Milly (Anthony Milford) and Sean O'Sullivan into the game."

Eels coach Brad Arthur knows what's coming, but after urging his men to "harden up" after a 42-22 loss to Cronulla in their last start is more worried about his side of the fence.

"I'm sure they'll try and take us on through the middle, that's their strength," he said.

"It's (his own criticism of the side) a fair summation of where we are at the moment - part time.

"Hopefully the response is driven by some pride in our performance."

The Broncos are ninth and the Eels eighth, but both have 12 points and are separated by just one point in for-and-against.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Parramatta have conceded 26 of their 48 tries through the centre channel, easily more than the next worst in the Warriors (15).

* The Eels have missed the most tackles (31.2 per game), conceded the second most points (22.8) and conceded the third most offloads (10.4 per game).

* The Broncos have conceded a try for every 10.6 tackles in their own 20m area (second worst) and the Eels for every 10.8 tackles (third worst).

© AAP 2019