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Broncos adopt pack mentality

Broncos forwards Josh McGuire, Ben Hannant and Martin Kennedy dish out some heavy punishment to Bulldogs prop David Klemmer on Friday night. Credit: Charles Knight. Copyright: NRL Photos
They knocked over a Bulldogs pack boasting some of the biggest boppers in the NRL and Broncos halfback Ben Hunt has every faith that the Brisbane big men can stand up to the might of the Burgess-inspired Rabbitohs on Thursday night.

Led by powerful displays from Corey Parker (187 metres, 23 tackles and three offloads) and Josh McGuire (166m, 36 tackles and a try assist) the Broncos stood up to the might of the likes of James Graham, Sam Kasiano, Tony Williams and David Klemmer and face a similarly gigantic task against South Sydney.

The three Burgess boys combined for 398m between them while Ben Te'o also busted through the 100-metre mark but Hunt said that his side has the necessary firepower to match them.

"It'll be a big challenge against them; they're in red-hot form at the moment," Hunt said.

"They've got a big forward pack, but I think if our pack can play like they did [against the Bulldogs] we'll be right."

Piling on 41 points against an out-of-sorts Bulldogs side may have given the Broncos a timely confidence boost and it also heralded a return to form of their sparkling No.7. Hunt had three line breaks, seven tackle breaks and scored two tries to take his season tally to 10 in a man-of-the-match display.

The 24-year-old credited Brisbane's forward pack for helping him contain New South Wales halves Trent Hodkinson and Josh Reynolds, but says they'll need to repeat the dose against Souths duo Adam Reynolds and 22-year-old Ipswich-born Luke Keary.

"They give me the opportunity to play well. I’ve just got to go out there and do it," he said of his forward pack.

"I've never really met [Keary] at all. I've had a couple of games against him and obviously everyone is talking about him because he's playing some good football, so we'll have to be on top of our game."

Hunt's return to form is timely not only for his team but also his claims for what would be a shock Dally M Medal season. While others may be waxing lyrical about his development, the Blackwater Crushers junior refuses to get caught up amongst the hype of his breakthrough season, describing his form as "patchy".

The playmaker's mindset is clearly team-orientated and solely focused on Brisbane's late finals charge as the side looks to avoid missing out on the finals in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1989.

"I think we've still got more work do to. It was a good win but one win isn’t good enough," Hunt said.

"We've got to get back to playing consistent football because we haven’t been playing that way."

The Broncos will enjoy a light week of training ahead of Thursday's crucial clash against Souths with the game another must-win in order to keep in touch with the top eight. 

Justin Hodges is expected to return from a minor hamstring strain which is likely to push winger Lachlan Maranta out of the 17, the only likely change when the team is announced on Tuesday.
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