NRL rules quirk affects Broncos' NRL side

Brisbane's James Roberts has been given the weekend off from NRL duty after Origin III

Injury and an NRL rules quirk has forced Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett into more unusual selections for their crunch clash with the Warriors.

NSW Origin centre James Roberts will miss the clash as he continues to manage a sore achilles while emerging forward Tevita Pangai (hamstring) was a late casualty at Saturday's Red Hill 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.

In a source of frustration for Bennett, in-form centre Kotoni Staggs will be on the interchange bench thanks to NRL laws denying him a start.

Staggs is not in the side's top 30 contracted players but has impressed enough to seemingly leapfrog fellow outside back Tom Opacic in the pecking order.

NRL laws dictate that a player outside the top 30 contracted list cannot start if a suitable replacement is available.

Staggs was impressive in the starting side last week - a move granted thanks to the side's missing Origin stars - and has been given an exemption to play off the bench against the Warriors.

Other than to simply reply "no" when asked if he agreed with them, a clearly miffed Bennett wouldn't bite when asked for his thoughts on the ruling.

However, he maintained his squad had the depth to cope given their ability to adapt had already been proven this season.

"It doesn't really faze 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 differential.

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 Gold Coast their first victory by more than nine points 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."

STATS THAT MATTER

* A win in this match would see Wayne Bennett win his 500th match as coach in his 805th match, with the next most wins being Tim Sheens (340).

* These two teams are making the fewest errors in the competition with Brisbane making just nine and the Warriors 9.5 per game.

* The Broncos have fewer tackles inside their opponents 20 than any other team (24.5 per game), however, the Warriors have conceded more tackles inside their own 20 than any other team (33.7 per game).