Broncos expecting the unexpected
As Broncos Holden Cup Brett Greinke explains, he and his teammates only see what they need to see when it comes to preparing for their opposition.
Given the manner of the Warriors' qualification for the Holden Cup Grand Final on Sunday, it's probably best the baby Broncos weren't in front of the box to see the Kiwis rise from the dead to score two tries in the final three minutes to snatch a fourth Grand Final appearance.
Such was the dire situation that the Warriors were in, Broncos coach Craig Hodges started to panic that he had begun preparations to play the wrong team.
"I was half preparing for the Warriors in the days leading up to it, I thought the Warriors would beat Parramatta and beat them reasonably comfortably," Hodges explained.
"Then with five minutes to go I was starting to have a change of heart and thinking we were going to have to get some things in place for Parramatta and then lo and behold the Warriors come through again.
"It was a typical Warriors performance I thought. They were really strong early and they probably flattened out a little bit after half-time and then came back and scored two tries in the last three minutes to get the win so it was a great lesson for us in how the Warriors play."
It's the third meeting of these two teams this season with the ledger currently square at one apiece but the winner takes all on Sunday. Both victories came in enemy territory and after falling behind on the scoreboard early in their past two finals wins, Greinke knows they can't let the Warriors get their tails up in the early stages of the game.
"[The win over the Dragons] was quite similar to the week before when we played the Tigers when we were behind the line and it was just little moments that were letting us down," Greinke said.
"I thought we were in control when we were behind the line after those first couple of tries, it was just those little things we weren't getting right but we kept our heads up and we knew at the end of the game that if we kept consistently putting in the effort we would get the win.
"The time we won [against the Warriors] our kicking game was perfect and our halves really took control of the game and in the second game we expected that to happen again.
"They came out of the blocks firing and we expected them to roll over and that's not what a Warriors side does so we've got to expect them to come out of the blokes firing this week."
One of the unseen aspects of the senior Brisbane team's regular slot on Friday night football is that their junior side has had little exposure and little experience using the captain's call. The Warriors, on the other hand, regularly feature on Fox Sports on a Sunday morning but Greinke said he is slowly getting used to the unique aspect of captaincy in the under-20s.
"I haven't had to use it too many times because we haven't had many TV games so it's been quite new for me in the finals," Greinke said. "I'm lucky in that the boys let me know if they think something's not going quite right and we got one right on the weekend and I was pretty stoked about that. Although I'm the one who gets to say the captain's challenge, it's still a team effort and they let me know if they think there's been an injustice or something hasn't gone right."
It may be an extra responsibility as Greinke tries to lead Brisbane to a maiden Holden Cup premiership but Hodges has no doubt that the 20-year-old back-rower who juggles study to become a teacher and a job as a teacher's aide along with his football commitments is the perfect leader in such a big game.
"He's a high quality young man. When I chose him to be our captain, he's probably not our most talented footballer but his work ethic not only on game day but on the training paddock is outstanding," Hodges said.
"The choice in making him captain is that we want to hold him up as the example to everybody else in our squad, these are the qualities that we value. He's a well-mannered, polite young man and when he gets out onto the field he's a million miles an hour, totally committed to what he needs to do and exactly the type of role model we want not only our under-20s but our young boys coming through."
The history of the Broncos is littered with great captains who have won premierships for their club and Greinke said it would be an honour to join their company.
"It's a massive honour to represent the club that has been so good to us all but in saying that we've just got to treat it like another game. Hopefully we'll do the club and the state proud when we go down there and try and get the win," he said.