Broncos relishing week off: Gillett
Matt Gillett believes having a rest during Week Two of the NRL finals is the perfect tonic for the Broncos as they recover from their draining defensive effort against the Cowboys.
The Broncos earned the week off after holding out the Cowboys 16-12 in last Saturday's qualifying final and will face the winner of Friday's semi-final final between the Roosters and Bulldogs.
Brisbane joined the Storm in having the weekend off, and according to Gillett, their rest couldn’t have come at a better time after the club's herculean defensive effort during the Queensland derby.
"It was a tough old game and the boys are glad we do have the week off," Gillett said.
"Most of the boys pulled up pretty good apart from a few who have still got a few niggling things, but we've got two weeks now until our next game so it's going to be good for us."
Brisbane's impenetrable defence was put to one of its greatest tests of the season during the final 10 minutes against the Cowboys with Johnathan Thurston's 71st-minute try reducing the margin from 10 to four points.
The nail-biting conclusion to the Suncorp Stadium classic saw the Cowboys hold the Steeden for six out of the final nine sets after Thurston's late try.
But despite having only 43 percent of the ball and being forced into making 50 more tackles than their opposition, Brisbane held out North Queensland's late pressure to qualify for their first preliminary final since 2011.
Gillett made 49 tackles against the Cowboys and considers having a week off during September a blessing.
The Broncos trained on Tuesday morning and will have a further session on Thursday before ramping up preparations for next Friday's home preliminary final.
"Personally I'd like to have the break and mentally I think it's a good thing for everyone," he said.
"We've played some quality sides coming into the finals and now we get that week off to get away from footy a bit and go spend time with the family.
"No doubt whoever we come up against it's going to be a tough game next weekend."
Meanwhile, Gillett has been recognised for his off-field charity work after becoming the Broncos' nominee for the 2015 Ken Stephen Medal.
The award, due to be presented during the Dally M's on Monday 28 September, recognises the efforts of an NRL player who has not only achieved on field, but also contributed to community projects off the field.
Gillett is currently an ambassador for Falcons Footy, a community project based on the Sunshine Coast which aims to integrate children with different abilities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and other special needs, into the rugby league community by offering them a safe place to play the game.
The 27-year-old has also worked with the Starlight Children's Foundation, AEIOU Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Queensland and has helped raise funds for suicide prevention and mental health.
"[Footy Falcons] is a charity for kids with all different abilities. I go up there and bring them together out on the field before the [Intrust Super] Cup games up on the Sunshine Coast," the Bribie Island junior said.
"It was great to give back to where I played most of my footy on the Sunshine Coast. It's good to get up there and run around with the kids and do my bit just to help out.
"I'm enjoying it at the moment and there are some pretty special kids up there."
Brisbane teammate Sam Thaiday received the medal in 2011, while the award has also honoured past greats of the game including Wayne Pearce, Peter Sterling, Nathan Hindmarsh and Preston Campbell since its inception in 1988.
Fans can learn more about the nominees and their work in the community, as well as cast their vote at www.nrl.com/kenstephenmedal.