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Broncos prepare for 'GI' assignment

Broncos prepare for 'GI' assignment
When the highlights reel on the 2014 season is collated and burned to a DVD at the end of the year, the 90-metre solo effort by Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis in Round 8 will feature prominently.

The challenge facing the Broncos on Thursday night is making sure they don't let it happen again.

In bringing down Inglis in full flight last Friday night Manly custodian Brett Stewart did what six Broncos were unable to achieve in the 11th minute of their clash earlier in the season but Brisbane centre Dale Copley knows it is a job for more than just one man.

Copley was the fifth Broncos defender the Rabbitohs No.1 kicked clear of in his arcing run from one end of Suncorp Stadium to the other and said the responsibility of shutting one of the most damaging ball-runners in the game is one that all Brisbane players share.

"Obviously he's a big strong guy so cutting his time and space down is the biggest thing," Copley said. "[Also] presenting one line on kick-chase because that's obviously where he scored that pretty memorable 80m try against us earlier in the year so cutting down [time and space], presenting one line and being really aggressive is the best you can do.

"There's no secret in that their strength is in how big they are; I don't think it takes an expert to work that out. The problem is trying to stop those big boys, which is pretty difficult and that's the task we face on Thursday."

Despite the encouraging nature of their 41-10 defeat of Canterbury last Friday night, the Broncos remain in 10th position on the ladder looking longingly at a spot in the top eight and with a month of football that consists of games against the Rabbitohs, Knights, Dragons and Storm.

Realistically the Broncos need to win at least three of those games to be any chance of playing finals football and Copley says their precarious position will ensure they don't get carried away with last week's win over the Bulldogs.

"I think we're sitting in 10th now so there's no reason to be arrogant or to get ahead of ourselves," said the 23-year-old. "We've still got a long way to go, we've got four quality teams that we're coming up against over the next four weeks so certainly not in a position to get carried away with ourselves.

"[Souths] were obviously pretty impressive and any time you beat Manly you've done something right. I think they're two points below Manly now so they're obviously playing pretty well and going to be a massive task again Thursday.

"Obviously we're coming off a pretty short turnaround which we're not used to but when you have a good victory it's good to be able to play two games pretty close to each other."

Whether Copley marks up on Dylan Walker or Kirisome Auva'a on Thursday night will be determined by the strength of Justin Hodges' hamstring with the Brisbane co-captain coming through a testing field session on Monday afternoon with no apparent ill effects.

Whether on the wing or at left or right centre, Copley has shown an ability to flourish whatever his surroundings and with 16 tries in 20 games is second only to Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne in the leading try scorer stakes.

Copley is likely to line up in his favoured position of left centre on Thursday night opposite Walker and says a full pre-season after missing the entire 2013 season with a knee injury has given him the confidence needed to be successful.

"I had a really good pre-season where I was pretty uninterrupted with injury and was able to get myself in as good a shape as I've been in so that played a part in how confident I came into the season," Copley said.

"I feel like I probably belong in the NRL. I feel I can contribute to the team and feel comfortable where I am. I'm not getting ahead of myself, I've got a lot of work to do and a lot of improving still to do but happy with how I'm playing at the moment.

"I've learnt a fair bit about the game and what it takes to prepare yourself right and I guess that's probably paying off at the moment."
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