Broncos ready after Origin lull
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has leapt to the defence of his players, blaming the Broncos' poor run of form on the representative period.
Bennett's men have been less than impressive of late, and a loss to the Melbourne Storm on Friday night at Suncorp Stadium would result in the Broncos suffering their sixth defeat in eight games.
It's not the first time Brisbane have struggled in the State of Origin period, with the side losing five of its six games in the same period of the 2013 NRL season.
Last year's Origin period was a rare highlight for the Broncos as they went six from six and secured a top four finish.
Brisbane have won just one game since their Round 10 victory over the Sea Eagles, but Bennett says his side is right where he expected them to be at this point of the season.
"The little problems we have at the moment all started at the beginning of the representative season. We are almost through that period now," Bennett said.
"I realised that this was going to happen to us so this isn't unexpected. We've been distracted and it's as simple as that.
"The players have priorities that are sometimes in the wrong place and that can disrupt us. There's no doubt that it's hard backing up from Origin.
"The Cronulla game was the first one because they named the Test team before that game. We went out there and got beaten.
"We haven't really been much better since that match, but we're still in a great position because we aren't out of the competition.
"We're about where we want to be, but we aren't consistent enough and that's nothing unusual for this time of year."
Inconsistency has been a feature of both Brisbane halves this season, with Anthony Milford and Ben Hunt struggling to adapt to their lack of personnel over the representative rounds.
Out of the six Brisbane players that play for Queensland, four are forwards, and this has left the Broncos' pack decimated over the past four weeks.
Bennett says that it's almost impossible for his halves to dominate if they don't have the go forward that's required from their big men.
"The blame always seems to come back to the halves, but the bottom line is that if the forwards are getting overrun in the middle then the halves are always going to be totally ineffective," he said.
"I've coached some great halfbacks, none better than Allan Langer, and he had a lot of bad days when his forwards weren't doing the job for him.
"My halves are no different to what they were 20 years ago because they still need their forwards to dominate through the middle and give them opportunities."
The England coach took time out of Thursday's media session to quash rumours surrounding a possible switch of allegiance by the Morris twins.
Rumours of Australian internationals Josh and Brett Morris defecting to England started this week but it appears there is little truth in it.
"It's media driven and I'm not buying into it. I have no idea where it came from," Bennett said.
"It's not even logical because they've both played for Australia and are Australian players. Why would they come and play for England?"