Broncos To Make The EightEmbed from Getty Images
2022 will mark the return of the mighty Brisbane Broncos to the finals series, in a huge boost for the most successful Queensland-based NRL franchise.
Brisbane made two key back-office appointments in 2021. Ex-Storm CEO Dave Donaghy became the Broncos CEO and in June last year, Ben Ikin returned to the club he played with as their new Football and Performance director. Slowly, things are turning around.
The Broncos’ on-field performances improved last season, giving premiers Penrith Panthers, and the Sydney Roosters, a huge fright in matches during the back-half of the season.
With the direction of Adam Reynolds, Brisbane is set to get their structure and combinations right. Other recruits Kurt Capewell and Ryan James will provide some much needed experience to a young forward pack.
With the new Dolphins franchise coming into the NRL in 2023, the Broncos will want to protect their fanbase, media exposure, and relevance in the Queensland market. They really can’t afford another season where they don’t make the eight.
Brad Arthur’s Future At The Eels May Not Be So Clear
This is a make-or-break year for Brad Arthur at the Parramatta Eels.
They’ve been knocked out in the semi-finals the last three seasons. In 2019 they were demolished 0-32 against the Storm, having put 58 on Brisbane the week before. Their 2020 campaign saw them out in straight sets to Melbourne and Souths. Last year they beat the Knights before going agonisingly close to beating eventual premiers Penrith in Mackay.
Should they fail to get past week two of this year’s finals series, questions will be asked whether Arthur can take this side any further than what he’s achieved in the past?
This is as good as any other time since 1986 for the Eels to break their premiership drought, but you get the feeling that premiership window is closing, quickly.
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