Fullback Jordan Kahu says he is disappointed that the more experienced players in the Broncos' young line-up didn't stand up to the challenge and lead from the front in Brisbane's narrow 19-18 loss against the Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Even without six players on State of Origin duty, Kahu was still among a Brisbane side featuring 90 Test matches of experience, with Kahu himself having played four Tests for New Zealand.
Wests Tigers deserved to win by more than just one solitary point, with the Broncos looking flat all match and the Tigers dominating field position for 80 minutes, running over the top of Brisbane's forward pack.
The Broncos backs lacked composure, with halves Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt struggling to take control when their side needed it most.
Kahu spoke exclusively to NRL.com after the clash, frustrated by his team's lacklustre performance.
"I definitely feel like I need to take on more of a responsibility in the side with so many boys out and all the younger guys coming in," Kahu said.
"I've had a good year and I've got some decent experience behind myself now so I need to do that.
"There are a lot of boys in the side with plenty of international experience so we needed to take ownership of tonight. We needed to step up and we didn't."
Despite his harsh assessment, Kahu was one of Brisbane's best as he filled in at fullback for Australian international Darius Boyd.
He played a nice hand in the Broncos' first try and was very reliable under the high ball that Tigers halves Mitchell Moses and Luke Brooks continued to pepper him with.
Kahu's job was made harder by a stuttering right edge of the Broncos defence that let in all three of the Tigers' tries.
Although 18-year-old debutant Jaydn Su'A put in an extremely impressive 80-minute performance in the second row, Brisbane missed Matt Gillett's imposing defence, with the Broncos' right edge struggling without their most reliable defender.
Kahu said these challenges are all part of playing fullback and the 25-year-old was quick to praise the efforts of Brisbane's young battalion.
"I like playing fullback when Darius isn't here and I was happy with how I played tonight," he said.
"As a team we didn't put our best performance on the field and we let each other down tonight.
"Assisting the younger boys in defence is part of my job.
"Darius does it pretty well for us when he gets people to go where he wants them. I tried my best to do that tonight, but I still made a few mistakes in defence.
"The likes of Jaydn Su'A and the really young guys performed very well with their defence. Collectively as a whole we didn't work together well enough."