Ben Barba's influence was significant as the Broncos celebrated a hard-fought win over the Bulldogs on Friday night. Copyright: Col Whelan/NRL Photos

Griffin: Broncos must lift to another level

Broncos coach Anthony Griffin is fully aware his side cannot rest on their laurels and must up the ante when they tackle the Cowboys on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Pleased with the defensive performance displayed against the Bulldogs in Round 1, Griffin recognises that his team will have to lift their attacking game in order to match it with the free-flowing style of the Cowboys and the various threats they present across the park. 

"They've obviously got some excellent attack with (Johnathan) Thurston, (Robert) Lui and (Michael) Morgan at the back," Griffin said.

"We won't get home on what we did last week – we'll have to go to another level."

Not only do the Broncos need to contend with the attacking potency of their Queensland cousins and the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a local derby, they'll need to be on guard against the ominous presence of the Cowboys' massive forward pack.

"It'll be a real tough match – they always are," he said.

"Whenever we play each other it's got its own significance no matter what time of the year, so I'm sure it's going to be a very tough game of football.

"They have a magnificent pack with the two Test front-rowers leading them."

The brute strength and size of Cowboys' bookends Matt Scott and James Tamou is already a known quantity to opposition teams, but after Jason Taumalolo's barnstorming performance against the Raiders last week, the Broncos have a new beast to tame.

"He's big, athletic and he backs himself with the football," Griffin said about 20-year-old Taumalolo. 

"He hasn't been around for long, but he's making an impact and some of his runs last week against the Raiders were extremely powerful, so it's going to be a very tough task to try and contain him."

The other obvious hazard standing in the way of the Broncos and another two competition points is the ever-present danger of Johnathan Thurston.

The Cowboys' co-captain was at his scintillating best last weekend, scoring one try and setting up two others as his side came from 16 points down to pip Canberra 28-22 in Townsville.

"Every team that plays the Cowboys does a lot of homework on Johnathan Thurston and his strengths," the Broncos coach said.

"So it's about getting out there and trying to limit those strengths on Friday night."

Griffin also believes the new rule regarding quick taps is likely to benefit the quick thinking Thurston, as he demonstrated with a 60-metre run from a penalty-tap against the Raiders.

"It gives all the halves a better chance and it will make him more dangerous if the ruck speeds up," he said.

"The halves have got more time to play and the defensive line isn't coming at them as fast and as often.

"It's going to give all the ball players more opportunity."

The Broncos coach assured all at a packed media conference that his side have studied Thurston's performance in Round 1 and are prepared for the multiple threats he can pose – including the quick-tap option.

"Whether it's a tricky kick or a quick tap, that's why he's so good – he reads play and reads the opposition – so we certainly have to be ready for that," he said.

"He's proven he competes for 80 minutes and he can get you by the throat. 

"He's got a really good touch with his kicking game and good selection with his passing game, so he's just one of those players that you've got to play 80 minutes against to try and contain him."