Breaking down the Broken Broncos
Viewing the cold-hard facts doesn’t paint a very pretty picture for the Brisbane Broncos this car-crash of a campaign. They are currently in 14th place, ahead of only the struggling Titans and Bulldogs. And they have won just 3 of their 10 games so far. Their Points Differential of -157 is the second-worsed in the competition.
And then when you look outside of the stats and into some of the stuff that is happening, it creates even more of a bleak outlook for the Red Hill franchise.
Their best player boom forward David Fifita is reportedly considering leaving on a massive multi-million deal to defect to the Gold Coast. People are calling for the likes of Anthony Milford and Darius Boyd to be moved on, whilst Anthony Seibold has reportedly lost the dressing room and is supposedly all out of ideas. Every day brings a new drama for this seemingly embattled club.
Their hospital ward of injuries currently reads Alex Glenn (knee), Jordan Kahu (Shoulder), Keenan Palasia (ACL), Jack Bird (ACL), Jesse Arthars (Knee), David Fifita (Knee), Sean O’Sulivan (Knee), Matthew Lodge (Knee), Kotoni Staggs (Hamstring) and Jake Turpin (Leg). Make that 10 injury problems that they are battling at the moment. Which just only compounds all of the other audacious events going on in/around the club at the moment.
Every one of those factors/reasons just mentioned, has contributed to their dismal performances on the field this season. I’m going to analyse their seven discouraging defeats this year and summarise where they need to go from here. Let’s rip into it.
The Crucial Defeats
RD3; 34-6 vs Parramatta
Getting humiliated at home to the Eels would’ve been a tough pill to swallow to begin with, but even tougher when you consider the fact that they tore the Broncos to shreds in last seasons finals series. Brisbane’s sole try came through Brodie Croft in the 18th minute, as the Eels ran riot scoring 6 tries to 1. The away-side also dominated things possession-wise, as they owned 64% of the ball, whilst completing a solid 36/49 sets. The Broncos completed just 20 sets in comparison. This was the first bad sign of many things to come.
RD4; 59-0 vs Sydney
Playing at Suncorp Stadium, they conceded tries in the 4th, 9th, 19th, 25th, 31st, 44th, 59th, 63rd, 71st and 74th minutes of the game. It was an absolute horror-show from Brisbane. Sydney had 61% of the ball, whilst keeping the Broncs to just 39%. And they also had an 82% completion rate, which was good for 40 full sets. There was also a MASSIVE difference in the meters each side ran for. Brisbane ran for 1,119m’s. Sydney in comparison ran for 2,361m’s. The Broncos gave away 8 penalties (the Roosters only 4). And Brisbane having a man sent off was just the icing on the cake, in what was a terrible defeat.
RD5; 20-18 vs Manly
In the 71st minute at Gosford, Garrick converted a penalty goal for Manly. That gave them a two-point buffer, which which was the difference for the Northern Beaches based side. It was an unfair decision which went against the Broncs and they never recovered from it. Although they did make it hard for themselves by allowing Manly to come from nowhere to make some clutch defensive plays in the latter stages of the game. Namely, Tommy and DCE ensured Brisbane wouldn’t be getting any share of the spoils in this encounter. Two defining statistics in this match were Brisbane leaking 10 errors and 12 penalties. Manly in comparison was at just 8 and 2 respectively.
RD6; 27-6 vs Newcastle
Ponga terrorized the Broncs this day, he ran for a very impressive 228m’s. And he showed Brisbane exactly what they were missing from their side, as he killed them all over the park in what was a 5-star performance from one of the games brightest players. The Broncos conceded 4 tries and were only able to run in 1 themselves. They held just 43% of the ball. And even more strongly working against them was the fact that they were forced into making 394 tackles and missed 31 more. This would’ve no doubt had some sort of wear and tear/ unfortunate fatigue effect on Seibold’s men.
RD7; 30-12 vs Gold Coast
Brisbane rarely loses to the Gold Coast, but on this day at Suncorp, all their problems were laid bare for the world to see, as they were battered from pillar to pillar. They leaked tries in the 6th min to Taylor, 20th min to Don, 29th min to Lisone, 40th min to Don again and 75th min to Sami. The Broncs didn’t find the white-line until Ben Te’o of all players scored a try in the 48th minute. They were outscored 5 tries to 2, as the Broncos also had 13 incomplete sets to their name. In comparison, the Titans only didn’t complete 8 of their sets. Brisbane also made a BIG 14 errors and missed 37 tackle attempts. In terms of who could potentially end up with the Wooden Spoon, this match could well prove to have a MASSIVE bearing on things.
RD8; 26-16 vs New Zealand
They lost to a home-sick Warriors side, in terrible form, who were missing several players and those who were there representing Auckland, had to go through a two-week quarantine period. The Warriors wanted it a hell of a lot more than the Broncos did and, Brisbane looked disinterested for a lot of the match. NZ’s two late tries to Maumalo in the 73rd minute and then again to Papali’i in the 78th minute sealed the Brinbane’s fate a 10-point defeat. They got outscored 5 tries to 3, as the Warriors completed 82% of their sets. In comparison, Brisbane completed just 69% of theirs. This was not a good game by Brisbane, to say the least.
RD10; 48-0 vs Wests
OH WOW, OH WOW, OH WOW! This match was something different. Playing at their spiritual home Leichardt Oval, the Tigers tore the Broncos to 48 pieces. They scored 9 tries to 0, despite the possession being relatively even at 52% (Tigers) to 48% (Broncos). Marshall was playing in vintage form like it was 2005 again, as he did a magical flick pass, scored 1 try, assisted on 1 and had 2 line break assists next to his name. Wests were simply on fire this game and there’s nothing the Broncos could do to stop them. Their defence was sloppy and the Tigers attack, something different indeed!
Like I said at the start, none of this paints a pretty picture for the Broncs. And these seven defeats epitomise that more than ever. Seibold needs to be replaced by somebody hard, who won’t be afraid to rip into the players. Names such as Geoff Toovey, Shane Flanagan or Wayne Bennett (once again and if he becomes available), all come to mind. Players such as Boyd, Milford and a lot of others need to take a good, long, hard look at themselves in the mirror. And there needs to be a lot more peace and a lot less fighting at the board level. That would all be a start to helping the Broken Broncos once again reclaim their glory days.