Ben Barba completes his hat-trick for Brisbane against Newcastle on Saturday. Credit: Charles Knight. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Dale Copley believes the Broncos can still improve despite piling on 34 unanswered points in the second half of their 48-6 flogging of the Knights on Saturday night.
Leading 14-0 at the break, a try to Newcastle forward Korbin Sims two minutes after the restart had the Broncos feeling slightly anxious, but their nerves were eased 15 minutes later when Lachlan Maranta scored out wide which sparked a further five tries in the final 20 minutes for the hosts.
Their late point-scoring spree marked the second game in a row that the Broncos have scored over 40 points at Suncorp Stadium after they rolled the Bulldogs 41-10 a fortnight ago.
Their runaway 42-point victory moved the Broncos up to ninth on the ladder, one win outside the top eight, but they'll face another must-win home game against the Dragons this Friday night who were impressive in their 34-6 win over the Titans on Sunday afternoon.
While Copley couldn't add to his 16 tries for the season in Brisbane's nine-try romp, he is fully aware his team needs to keep improving in order to inflict the same damage on the 11th-placed Dragons who are level on 26 competition points with both the Broncos and Warriors.
"There's always improvement needed. We let a pretty soft try in after half-time and that was pretty disappointing," Copley told NRL.com.
"That could’ve been the catalyst for a bit of a run from them but we were good enough to get back on the horse straight away and get back and play a bit of footy.
"We built a fair bit of pressure in the first half and I think that ended up setting up the second half. It ended up with us coming over the top of them and blowing the score out which was good.
"They are all important games now and we've got to win every one starting with Friday night."
Originally named on the wing but shifting to the centres in order to accommodate the switch of Justin Hodges to fullback, Copley has rotated between the two centre positions and the wing on a number of occasions this season for Brisbane, impressing in whatever spot coach Anthony Griffin has placed him.
Saturday's win over the Knights was Copley's 60th NRL match and it also marked the 14th occasion this season where the 23-year-old has played in the centres with a further eight appearances coming on the wing.
Copley's versatility has been a real asset for the Broncos in 2014 with the Aspley junior filling in at left centre for Jack Reed recently despite normally playing on the right.
Standing at 184 centimetres and weighing in at 97 kilograms, Copley has the necessary credentials to move into the forwards later in his career and also played fullback during his debut season in 2009.
"I'm just playing wherever I'm picked. [I'm] bouncing around this year from side to side and position to position, but it's not worrying me too much and I just get on with the job and do what I can," he said.
"It was pretty good to see the left side doing a good job tonight. They were making breaks left, right and centre and both 'Reedy' (Jack Reed) and 'Barbs' (Ben Barba) crossed the line a few times which was good to see.
"Hopefully it continues on next week and we have another good win."