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'Satisfied' Broncos face Storm hoodoo

'Satisfied' Broncos face Storm hoodoo
Brisbane have found it difficult to collar the Storm in recent clashes, with Melbourne's 30-8 win in Round 20 their seventh win over the Broncos in succession. Credit: Col Whelan. Copyright: NRL Photos
Win and you're in. The finals equation cannot get any simpler for the Broncos as they look to keep their season alive.

However, there is one catch; they must beat a side they haven’t defeated in more than four years at a venue where they've only ever tasted victory once before.

A monumental challenge awaits the Broncos when they travel down to AAMI Park for Friday's must-win semi-final qualifier against modern day rivals Melbourne Storm who recorded a 30-8 win in Round 20 that signalled their premiership intentions.

One thing working in Brisbane's favour is as they look to snap their current seven-game losing streak against the Storm is their recent turn of form, which has seen the six-time premiers win three out of their past four games.

The Broncos have piled on 119 points and only conceded 38 over the course of their three recent victories over the Bulldogs, Knights and Dragons with their 42-16 loss against South Sydney in Round 23 the notable exception.

Despite Brisbane's recent flurry of form co-captain Corey Parker believes repeating the dose against the Storm in Melbourne presents a much bigger challenge than what they've faced in recent weeks.

"We've won those [three] games in a fashion we're pretty satisfied with and no disrespect to those other teams, but playing Melbourne in Melbourne is a total different kettle of fish," Parker said.

"It's their last home game for the year so they'll be looking to put in a big performance in front of their home crowd but it's also a big occasion for us.

"It's been a big battle for over a decade with Melbourne. They're a quality outfit and for whatever reason they've had the wood over us, so it'll be a big challenge on Friday night."

In order to keep their season alive, the Broncos must reverse a worrying trend of defeats against the Storm, who have won 14 out of 16 games played between the sides since the 2006 Grand Final.

The Broncos can take solace from the fact that their last win over the Storm came at AAMI Park, although that 36-14 victory was over four years ago back in Round 9, 2010 and the Storm were without skipper Cameron Smith.

Even Parker cannot point the finger towards why the Broncos are notorious strugglers against the Storm, but the 297-game veteran says that playing in another must-win with their destiny in their own hands, rather than someone else, is the position the Broncos want to be in.

"It's obviously a very tight table at the moment but the simple thing is if you want to look too far into is, if you win, you keep going and that's as simple as we need to keep it," he said.

"It's a good spot to be in; we've put ourselves in this position though. I thought we started the year well, but we went away from it, picked it back up again, went away from it and now it looks like we're picking back up again now.

"The pleasing thing about the wins we've had is the way we've gone about them and the way we've executed and gone about our game.  

"So that's all been good but it means nothing unless we get another [win] Friday night."

 "Once semi-finals come round it's a completely different ball game. At the moment Manly are number-one and they been consistent throughout the year, but I believe any team in the eight can go ahead with it."
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