Even former captain Sam Thaiday has been caught off-guard by the Broncos' strong start to the 2014 season. Copyright: Robb Cox/NRL Photos Credit: NRL Photos Copyright: NRL Photos
Brisbane veteran Sam Thaiday admits he is shocked by his side's promising start to the year, and described their 80-minute victory over the Dragons as the blueprint to success.
A winless pre-season had many pundits dismissing the six-time premiers before a ball was kicked but Friday night's road win lifted the Broncos to a 3-1 record over the opening month of the season that has entrenched them in the top eight.
It would've been a perfect four from four had the Roosters not stolen victory from the jaws of defeat at Suncorp Stadium in Round 3.
"I'm very surprised. You train hard and you bust your butt all off-season, but you're never sure on how you're going to go," Thaiday told NRL.com.
"We've played some tough teams now, they've been a lot of testing games and hopefully we can take a lot of confidence off this first month and continue on into the weeks to come."
The former club captain confessed he had his own doubts coming into the new season after going winless through a trial period that included heavy losses to the Warriors, Cowboys and Titans.
But ahead of next Friday night's clash against the Eels, Brisbane registered strong wins over the Bulldogs and Roosters before handing the Dragons their first loss of the year.
"Three out of four, it's been a great month for us. Coming off the [Auckland] Nines and coming off our trial form, we probably weren't looking too good or feeling too great," he said.
"But we really showed each other, if anything, that if we play a tough brand of footy where we just work hard for one another, we can win games."
After relinquishing an eight-point lead in the loss to the Roosters, the Broncos held off a stubborn Dragons outfit that wouldn't go away. Thaiday said his growing team had quickly learnt a tough lesson against the defending premiers.
"We knew this was going to be a big challenge. When you play a team that's won three straight, they have that winning form, that bit of confidence, so we knew it was going to be a tough task," he said.
"We probably thought ourselves a little bit unlucky losing to the Roosters last week, but it shows that it's an 80-minute game. We just didn't show up for 80 minutes against the Roosters.
"We really had to show that effort tonight against the Dragons in a funny old game, but it was good to win."
Thaiday reserved special praise for teammate Matt Gillett, who scored two tries in the opening 10 minutes to set up the win.
"Matt's been working very hard on his game in the off-season and it was a great reward for him to get over early and score those two tries. It just shows that all that hard work is paying off for him," he said.