Wigan win breeds Bronco belief
Broncos forward Alex Glenn believes his team's positive response to golden point extra-time against Wigan in the World Club Series has provided Brisbane with the perfect blueprint to upsetting the defending premiers on Thursday night.
A crowd of around 40,000 is expected to converge on Suncorp Stadium for the 2015 NRL season opener between the Broncos and South Sydney Rabbitohs with both teams impressive in their pre-season sojourn to the northern hemisphere.
While the Rabbitohs added the World Club Challenge piece of silverware to an overflowing trophy cabinet, the Broncos were forced to go 90 minutes with the Super League runners up before earning a gritty 14-12 win in extra time.
Glenn played 88 minutes and ran for a game-high 227 metres against Wigan but said it was in the dressing sheds of DW Stadium after the game that he gained his greatest insight into how the Broncos can potentially fare in season 2015.
"Everyone talks about sitting in the sheds after a gutsy win and keeping your head high and knowing that you did your job for the teammates around you and left nothing in the tank. That's exactly how I felt in the changing room and I looked around and could see that everyone felt the same way," Glenn told NRL.com.
"We were sitting in those sheds knackered because we knew we gave it our 100 per cent and didn't leave anything in the tank and we played for one another out there.
"That's something that we've been working towards all pre-season, at working hard and never giving up until the final whistle.
"We had a fair idea that it was golden point so we knew exactly what we had to do, which was keep applying pressure to them. Make them come up with the errors and that's what happened and they gave away a penalty right in front.
"We just knew that if we kept completing our sets and getting good kick-chases and using our defence as an attack and keeping them down that end that eventually it would go our way, whether with a try, a field goal or the way it did with a penalty.
"[Facing South Sydney] is the same as that golden point, it comes back to ball control. If you're holding the ball longer than the opposition it's giving yourself more opportunities and making sure we're completing our sets, that's going to be the key."
New recruit Adam Blair will be named in the front row to make his Broncos premiership debut on Thursday night having played 65 minutes against Wigan in difficult conditions.
He will be joined in the 17 by fellow former Wests Tiger James Gavet and Canberra recruit Anthony Milford who also performed strongly in their World Club Series hit-out.
For 28-Test veteran Blair, seeing how his new teammates performed under fatigue gave him added belief that their gruelling pre-season has delivered the desired results.
"I think a bit of pride and passion I felt out there on the field," Blair said of the way the Broncos responded. "Times were tough out there, it was our second trial match and we'd only played 60 minutes before that.
"Individually we'd worked really hard to get into the team and I think it was a good stepping stone for the season, being able to go out there and stick it to a tough forward pack as they're known for."
The Broncos have gone down to the Rabbitohs in their past three meetings and Glenn says starting strongly will be integral in competing with a team riding a tidal wave of confidence.
"That's the first time we'd all played together as a full squad so to get a real gutsy win in the World Club Series definitely gave us a lot of confidence in each other's abilities and also the team," Glenn said.
"We know we've got a tough game coming up this week against the premiers from last year. They're a big pack and we know we've got to bring that same intensity that we did going into the game against Wigan.
"There's nothing different to the way they play and the Rabbitohs, they're both aggressive teams so we know we can't come out and start the game 10 minutes later.
"We've got to be ready to go right on the whistle otherwise they'll blow you off the park."