Brisbane forwards target new playing style
The Brisbane Broncos are looking to incorporate even more expansive play into their game as the NRL introduces a reduced interchange in the 2016 season.
The interchange will reduce from 10 to eight – leaving tired opposition forwards at the mercy of free running football.
Brisbane will look to exploit that this season as they put a greater influence on fitness and finesse rather than strength and size.
The 2015 runners-up are hoping the tactics will reap dividends as they look to go one better in 2016.
Brisbane Broncos forward Sam Thaiday says the forwards are being encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and become playmakers.
"We have been trying to push for it all pre-season – we are trying to encourage our forwards to do a fair bit more passing now with this new interchange rule," said Thaiday.
"If we can move some of the bigger forwards around on other teams then hopefully we can tire them out and really bring Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt into games.
"Adam Blair and myself have been working on a few plays that we can hopefully incorporate into our game."
The Broncos averaged just over five line breaks a game in 2015 – bettered only by the Sydney Roosters.
It is hoped this number will skyrocket as the agile Brisbane forwards work with livewire playmakers Milford and Hunt to expose tired defences late in games.
Brisbane are currently in London as they prepare for their World Club Series match-up against the Wigan Warriors.
It will be their first real test of the new tactics as a near full strength squad look to stake their claim for a starting position in Round 1.
Thaiday admits discussions are continuing as to how to best use the new interchange as they use this week’s match to tinker with possible line-ups and tactics.
"We’ve discussed a few things at the Broncos as well about how we will work the new interchange and who is going to where," said Thaiday.
"Over the next couple of weeks while we are playing trial matches we will go from there and by Round 1 we will know who is playing where and what is happening with the team."