Going into their matchup against the Knights, not everything was going Brisbane’s way.
Their star recruit and captain, Adam Reynolds, was ruled out at the last minute due to a niggling groin injury. This was polar opposites as Newcastle were bolstered by the return of representative stars Tyson Frizell and Dane Gagai and were debuting Anthony Milford, the former millionaire man with a point to prove against his previous club. Despite this, the Broncos produced the greatest win in their recent history.
Ok, I can hear the uproar already. What’s so great about beating one of the most disappointing teams this season and a side desperate to avoid the wooden spoon? Why is it so impressive to beat a team that you are supposed to?
To answer these questions, it is important we understand just how bad things have been.
In 2020, Brisbane won only three games with a for and against of -356. Despite showing some improvement last year, they still had some woeful losses including a 46-point trouncing at the hands of the Rabbitohs and a 50-6 smashing by the Sea Eagles.Embed from Getty Images
They were accused of quitting when times were tough and often folded like origami as soon as the pressure was applied.
Going into this game against Newcastle, many would have excused the Broncos for a poor performance or justified the loss on the absence of Reynolds. Rather than take the easy option, this current Broncos squad rose up and showed something many had questioned. Their effort and attitude.Embed from Getty Images
Many have praised the Broncos recruitment this season. Reynolds is getting most of the credit (and rightly so) for the Broncos impressive start to the year. However, this squad has not changed greatly from those dark days of 2020.
What has changed is the passion the players are showing for the jersey and the culture that Kevin Walters is starting to rebuild at Red Hill.
Patrick Carrigan has established himself as one of the form front rowers in the competition. Corey Oates is having a resurgent season, putting his name up for a return to the representative arena and Herbie Farnworth continues to go from strength to strength.
Although they may still carry with them the mental scars from their seasons on the NRL’s scrap heap, this side are playing with a renewed energy. It is much easier to enjoy the good times after going through some pretty bad ones.
While there has no doubt been some teething issues, these Bronco Boys have now matured.
They have already equalled their win total from last year after eleven rounds.Embed from Getty Images
They have built a club where players want to be, shown through the recent resigning of Herbie Farnworth and Selwyn Cobbo, a player chased by a reported 14 clubs.
While no one is expecting a premiership, fans can be buoyed by the fact that we are finally seeing signs of the Broncos DNA, forged by the heavyweight sides of years gone past, in this current crop.
They have the potential to make their own mark and establish themselves as force to be reckoned with in the years ahead.