Top Pointscorer: Corey Parker
Top Tryscorer: Lachlan Maranta
In a season where they far defied even their own expectations, the Brisbane Broncos can hold their head high after they agonisingly got within seconds of premiership glory.The Broncos were on the losing side of what will go down as one of the most historical grand finals of all time, however if it wasn’t for some 80th minute brilliance from the Cowboys, the Broncos would now be crowned as the 2015 premiers.
With an incredible 17 victories in 2015, it would be hard to pick just one that stood out as the Broncos most impressive win of the season. Brisbane’s dangerous attack allowed them to score 40+ points on 5 occasions this season, and their 47-12 drubbing of the Rabbitohs in Round 25 was arguably their best performance of 2015, as they were able to demolish the 2014 reigning premiers just a week before the finals commenced. Their dominant display included many length of the field tries, and even a full field effort straight after receiving a kick off. The Broncos were also brilliant against the Roosters in the preliminary final, with an emphatic 31-12 victory securing their place in the 2015 premiership decider.
A rare loss for the Broncos came in Round 21 against a Manly side who were desperate to keep their finals hopes alive, as Brisbane suffered a 44-14 smashing. Their woes continued the following round, as they were narrowly defeated 18-16 by the Bulldogs. The Broncos were able to bounce back however, with a 32-6 victory over the Dragons.
An unbelievable Ben Hunt error from the kick off in extra-time inevitably lead to the Broncos suffering defeat in the Grand Final, however the Broncos wouldn’t of even been in the premiership decider if it were not for Hunt’s outstanding form in 2015. He managed to strike up a great halves pairing with Anthony Milford, who proved the doubters wrong by transitioning brilliantly into the five-eight role in just his first season at the Broncos. Adam Blair was also a revelation for the Broncos in his first season at the club, after he was criticised for his form at the Tigers in 2014.
The Broncos will head into 2016 with practically the same 17 men who almost delivered them a premiership, however there is set to be one glaring omission in departing captain, Justin Hodges. The retiring club legends departure will lead to an interesting battle for his centre spot, with Dale Copley more than capable of slotting in. Wayne Bennett may also consider switching Jordan Kahu to the centres, which would leave a spot on the wing for the clubs leading try scorer in 2015, Lachlan Maranta. The Grand Final also served as the last match for forward Mitchell Dodds, who will depart the NRL to play for the Warrington Wolves in the Super League. The Broncos have also released exciting youngsters Ashley Taylor, Jayden Nikorima, and Matt Parcell, as the young guns would be unlikely to get a spot in first grade with the abundance of talent that the Broncos possess.
Following a big recruitment drive in the 2014 season where the Broncos bought the likes of Milford, Blair, Bennett, and Darius Boyd, the Brisbane side is loaded with talent and depth across the board. As a result, the only player that has currently been added to their roster for 2016 is Carlin Andersen, a talented young fullback from the Ipswich Jets.
With the 2015 premiership coming so close to their reach, the Broncos will be even more hungry and determined for premiership glory in 2016. With an almost unchanged side, and the increasing potential of young guns such as Milford and Kodi Kikorima, the Broncos are destined to be a top four team in 2016.