Broncos v Rabbitohs: Five key points
The 2015 season opener provided a number of answers and also raised some interesting questions.
Stewart a grateful Rabbitohs gift
He hadn't been seen in the NRL in more than 10 months but it became very obvious very early that Glenn Stewart will add a wonderful dimension to the 2015 version of the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
"Glenn Stewart is going to offer a lot to this South Sydney team, something they didn't have last year," was Phil Gould's opinion in commentary for Channel Nine on Thursday night.
The man with the best view, Rabbitohs right centre Dylan Walker, said the opportunity to partner up with the former Manly back-rower will do wonders for his own game.
"He's played with some of the best centres in the game, with [Steve] Matai and [Jamie] Lyon," Walker said. "He doesn't try to overcomplicate things, he plays his style and I've just got to adjust to him. He's done everything in the game so a player like me can learn a lot off him.
"He came to training in pre-season a bit over standards but he's worked really hard on it and looking very good and it shows out there tonight what it means to him. He means business here."
Kahu to be persisted with at fullback
It is a position he was determined to make his own from the moment Darius Boyd went down in the pre-season with an achilles injury and it appears as though Broncos fullback Jordan Kahu wil be entrusted with the No.1 jersey until Boyd's return.
A towering Adam Reynolds bomb in the opening minutes elicited a nervous, juggled catch from Kahu and in the second minute of the second half he botched another Reynolds bomb that saw John Sutton score shortly thereafter.
There were also a number of strong catches under heavy pressure throughout the game and coach Wayne Bennett indicated Kahu will be given every chance to improve in coming weeks.
"He's got a high ball coming at him, there's a fair bit of pressure on there and he didn't use any footwork into the catch; we can improve that," Bennett said. "You can live with them, that's part of what you do.
"Darius is a huge loss to us at the back because of what he brings so we've just got to compensate for that until he gets himself right and the other boys can play better than they did tonight."
Broncos halves have a way to go
The individual brilliance of Anthony Milford and the rise of Ben Hunt to Test status in 2014 may have masked the fact that these are two young halves still very much learning their craft.
On a number of occasions on Thursday night the Broncos lost their way on the last tackle – including a one-out hit-up from the last play of the first half – and Milford seemed to struggle to inject himself into the game.
For all his extraordinary accomplishments last season Hunt did regularly struggle to nail the last-tackle plays and having only returned to training in January will take some time to combine fluently with Milford.
"It's just going to take some time. Anthony's new to it, Ben's probably playing a different system to what he's played before so it's just going to take a little bit of time," was Bennett's appraisal.
"One thing we didn't do – we didn't do it in the trials and we didn't do it here tonight – we're just not building any pressure. We did not have one repeat set tonight and countless times when we were down the other end we didn't give ourselves a chance because we lost the ball or had a poor kick finish."
The 'goanna' is in for a busy year
We're going to see a lot of the 'goanna' – Greg Inglis's now trademark try celebration – and not just in the NRL's advertising campaign.
Having cut an exhausted figure at the end of the Four Nations campaign, the captaincy of the Rabbitohs seems to have brought an even greater sense of gravitas to Inglis's game. His 155 running metres were the most of any player on Thursday night, he laid on a try for Luke Keary and scored one himself, letting the goanna loose on the opposite corner from where it came to life with his extraordinary solo effort against the Broncos in Round 8 last season.
"Having the 'c' next to my name means a lot to me but as a group I've got a lot of good senior players around me," said Inglis in his first NRL post-match presser as captain. "I still look to Johnny [Sutton] for a lot of advice and Issac Luke and Adam Reynolds and Luke Keary as well."
Greg Inglis is in a very good place at present, and that's great news for Bunnies fans.
Wayne will be good for a line
There were insights, open criticism of senior players and even a wry smile or two; the Brisbane media are certainly happy master coach Wayne Bennett is back in town. Here are some post-match Bennett gems to whet the appetite for what's to come over the following 25 rounds.
On Sam Thaiday playing the first half unchanged: "He gave himself a few breaks; he gave away three penalties. Sometimes you don't have to be interchanged to give yourself a break."
On the handling errors of his team: "We're predictable at being unpredictable. Drives a coach insane."
On Matt Gillett's prospects of being selected in the starting team next week: "He was good tonight. I'm not so silly to leave the good ones out."
Welcome back Wayne.