Bennett's Broncos need week off
Having lost their first game in six weeks following their 12-10 defeat to the Dragons on Friday night, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett believes the week off afforded to the entire competition for the upcoming representative round will be beneficial for his club's casualty ward.
Labelling the week off as an opportunity to get his team fit and firing before the Origin period, Bennett is keen to see the likes of Darius Boyd and Lachlan Maranta – who was a late withdrawal from the Dragons clash – back in the team.
Throw in the likes of Alex Glenn (fractured eye socket and broken nose) and Justin Hodges (hamstring) who failed to finish their game against the Red V – and are looking at time on the sideline – a break is exactly what the doctor ordered.
"We were up to our fifth choice fullback come halftime [when Hodges didn't return]. That's where we are at," Bennett said, who was battling an apparent flu himself.
"Boyd is our number one, Jordan Kahu's number two, Maranta is number three, Hodges is number four and Kodi [Nikorima] is number five so the break can't come quick enough for us.
"We need a week off just to get the guys back from niggling injuries and other issues. Nothing serious but still."
Hodges himself remained confident his hamstring complaint wouldn't be a long-term injury however.
After failing to play during any point in the second half, Hodges was being cautions more than anything.
"It just got a bit sore, a bit tight, that's about it," Hodges said.
"I didn't want to push it in my first game back. History dictates if I kept going then it probably would have went on me so it was just a matter of me pulling it up and making sure it was right for next week."
Regardless, Hodges was ultimately pleased with his side's defensive effort.
While tackles made and possession went straight down the middle between the two combatants, the Broncos made six more errors than their opponents which ultimately led to tougher periods in defence.
"Our defence is what kept us in the game. We dropped so many balls with so many sets in the first half and we still kept turning up for each other," Hodges said.
"If we keep doing that then we are going to be in every single game."
Bennett, much like his captain, was pleased with the Broncos' defence.
While he wasn't the happiest about how many unforced errors they produced, the fact they backed it up in defence was the most pleasing aspect of the match for the veteran mentor.
"I was really pleased with our defensive effort. We kept turning it up which was difficult even though we were making plenty of mistakes. And that's what you expect from them if they're going to make the mistakes," Bennett said.
"Nothing helps whether it was a drop ball or losing two players, that's just what footy is. We had to overcome that and we nearly did."