The Broncos forwards were dominated by their Rabbitohs counterparts.
The Broncos forwards were dominated by their Rabbitohs counterparts.

Woeful Broncos forward pack called out

Brisbane's forward pack has been call out following Thursday night's embarrassing 38-6 loss to South Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

The Broncos weren't supposed to be lacking any motivation heading into what was Darius Boyd's 300th NRL game, but the side's confidence appeared to diminish after the Rabbitohs' first try to Cody Walker.

The Rabbitohs took a 24-0 lead into halftime and while the statistics were generally even apart from the scoreline, the difference in effort and attitude was telling.

The Broncos failed to aim up for Darius Boyd’s 300th game. Picture. Phil Hillyard
The Broncos failed to aim up for Darius Boyd’s 300th game. Picture. Phil Hillyard

A shining light for Anthony Seibold's men was 18-year-old debutant halfback Tom Dearden who proved why he deserved a shot at NRL.

But while Dearden continually tried to poke holes in the Rabbitohs' defence, it was the big men around him who were often found wanting.

In fact none of the Broncos forwards, aside from Payne Haas (122 metres), made it to triple run figures.

By comparison, Thomas Burgess topped the Rabbitohs' forwards with 199 metres, while Sam Burgess (155), Tevita Tatola (134) and John Sutton (126) also all outran their Broncos counterparts.

"I'll tell you who shouldn't be (proud of themselves) is the Broncos forwards," NRL 360 host Paul Kent told The Late Show with Matty Johns.

"They let (Dearden) down. It showed a lack of leader in the pack that no one said 'come on, guys, we've got an 18-year-old kid here who's having a crack and he's shaming us with his effort'.

"No one was there to (look after him). No one was there to even recognise it."

Tom Dearden tried his heart out on debut.
Tom Dearden tried his heart out on debut.

Broncos legend Gorden Tallis said the team appeared to "lack belief", while former NRL star Bryan Fletcher also took aim at the side's forward pack.

"They were outplayed," Fletcher said.

"The Brisbane forwards, the front-rowers especially, I thought they were hugely disappointing.

"I thought the most disappointing thing, and I think the coach will be, this young Dearden who played his first game, a couple of times he was on the edge and he had no forwards running with him and that was in the first 10 minutes of the game."

Seibold highlighted the lack of effort following an error or penalty, something he believed everyone - not just the younger players - needed to learn.

"The most disappointing thing tonight was when we gave a penalty away or made an error, it just seemed to take us three of four tackles to get to our next job," he said.

"The shows a lot of care from the guys, but in sport, you can't dwell on errors or giving a penalty away.

"That's probably the most disappointing thing, just our transition to the next job."

 

James Roberts made a number of bad defensive reads. Picture. Phil Hillyard
James Roberts made a number of bad defensive reads. Picture. Phil Hillyard

The Broncos pack was hyped up in the pre-season as the best young group of players in the competition but they are taking some time to find their consistency.

Rugby league legend Laurie Daley questioned whether the young players are as good as many believe they are going to be.

"They either don't understand the playing style or they're not good enough to execute it," Daley said on Big Sports Breakfast.

As to where to go from here for the Broncos, rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns said Seibold needed to simplify the team's whole game plan.

"I'd be simplifying everything," Johns told Channel 9.

"Simplify your attack, simplify your defence and just challenge everyone on the field.

"Say 'right, I want to see how hard you're going to hurt this week. We're going to complete at 90 per cent. Milf, quick kick to the corner and we're just going to scrap and tackle ourselves to victory. Don't worry about your set plays. Just get out there scrap and fight and defend and find a way to win'."

News Corp Australia


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