Broncos reveal secret to form reversal

A pledge by Brisbane’s misfiring forwards to up the aggression is behind the club’s dramatic return to form, according to prop Nick Kenny.<br><br>Just two weeks after they were written off as finals contenders, the Broncos have strung together back-to-back wins to surge back into the top eight following their remarkable second-half display to thrash Penrith 58-24 yesterday.<br><br>And while captain Darren Lockyer produced arguably his best performance of the season, it was Brisbane’s forwards that devastated the Panthers during their second-half blitz.<br><br>“It’s something we all spoke about,” Kenny told NRL.com today. “We’ve been working on that a lot at training – improving our line speed and upping our tightness and aggression in defence.<br><br>“Teams that have good ball control and high intensity in defence are usually the ones that go well during the finals.<br><br>“We knew we needed to simplify things, control the ball and get on the back of each other’s hit-ups so that we could get that roll-on.<br><br>“The guys that came off the bench yesterday were fantastic – they really made an impact – but defensively we were a lot more aggressive and physical than we have been in recent weeks.<br><br>“Those are the sorts of things you need to get right heading into finals footy.”<br><br>Brisbane’s season appeared to be free-falling following their record 56-0 loss to Canberra a fortnight ago, but the return from injury of key players Peter Wallace and Sam Thaiday as well as Kenny himself has turned the club’s fortunes around.<br><br>Kenny said that the loss of so-many players to injury and State of Origin commitments had dented the Broncos’ confidence.<br><br>“Confidence was definitely down and it was hard to keep a consistent team on the field,” he said.<br><br>“We had a lot of guys out through Origin commitments and there was just no stability there.<br><br>“Over the past few weeks we’ve had guys coming back from injury and we’re almost back to a full-strength team. <br><br>“It has given us time to train together and get those combinations right.<br><br>“I mean, Locky was awesome yesterday and having he and Pete both there just makes a massive difference to the organisation of the team out there.<br><br>“So I think the last couple of weeks have given us a bit of self-belief and confidence that we can make a big charge towards the finals.<br><br>“You could see us growing in confidence as that second half went along yesterday and it’s a good time of year to be coming back into a bit of form.”<br><br>Kenny was among Brisbane’s most impressive performers against the Panthers, running for 138 metres in his second game back from a hamstring injury.<br><br>Now a vital member of the side’s pack following the departure of Ben Hannant, Greg Eastwood and David Stagg at the start of the year, he said he had taken it upon himself to fill the void left by the more experienced trio in 2009.<br><br>“I’m happy,” he said.<br><br>“I felt like I was playing well up until I got injured, so that was disappointing, but to be back a month before the finals is great.<br><br>“The injury is feeling pretty good now so hopefully that is all behind me now.<br><br>“I just want to string some consistent performances together heading into the finals.”<br><br>Kenny warned that the Broncos would be out to send a message to the rest of the competition when they face St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium on Friday night.<br><br>“These are the games you want to play in,” he said. “They’re the competition leaders and it’s a great place to play footy so it will be a big occasion for both teams.<br><br>“But we’re pumped for it.<br><br>“You play footy to play in these games and we’ll be ripping in.”<br>