What's behind Brisbane's mid-season slump?

After starting the season the same way we left off last year it's clear that the Broncos are going through a tough period at the moment and it looks to me as though the desire to turn up for each other has left them.

A big part of our run to the grand final last year was turning up for your mate – particularly in defence – and they seem to have lost their spark and everything that we built over the last year in terms of playing as a team.

The biggest concern for coach Wayne Bennett would be conceding at least 30 points three times in their past six games and in turn that seems to be impacting on their confidence in attack and their ability to stick to their structures.

Confidence in anything, but especially in sport, is massive, particularly these days. If you've got a couple of players not playing to their ability because they're down on confidence it makes a huge difference and you can't fill that void like you used to back in the day.

At the moment they need to go back to what works and go back to concentrating on their defence. They've got so many brilliant attacking players in their team they just need to get that spirit of what they had over the last year of turning up for each other.

There's no doubt maintaining that intensity in defence is most difficult during the Origin period but it is still up to the senior players to lead the way for the young players that have come into the team.

Guys like Jai Arrow, Jaydn Su'A, Tevita Pangai and Herme Ese'ese are all terrific prospects but the older blokes need to make sure that they are buying into what you are doing and it just doesn't seem to be happening right now.

When these young kids get a game you have to make sure they are buying in to what you want them to do and you've got to be leading by example.

You can't ask a young kid to come in and think he's going to be outstanding. You've got to make sure he knows what everyone is doing and that he comes along for the ride and simply does his job.

 

 
Playing the Storm is always a tough assignment but I think Friday night is a great chance for the Broncos to get back on track.

They're playing against a great team who are well structured and have two great guys running the show in Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk who make sure they don't go away from what works. They know what works and they stick to it.

It's a good game for guys such as Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford to start building into that and start getting back to where they were last year. They've got to rediscover that belief in each other and what they've built in the last year and a half, and once they get back to that we'll see the Broncos back on top again for sure.

Back in 2006 we lost five games in a row late in the season and while it's obviously not ideal Origin played a massive part in that.

The build-up and the emotion associated with it is incredibly draining. You're used to having all this hype playing in front of all these people and you go back to your club and you don't have that same high.

I remember losing all those games back then but we had great leaders in our side who made sure they led from the front and got us back on track at the right time.

If the leaders at the Broncos can do something similar this year then there is plenty of time for Brisbane to get back into premiership contention.

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Another team I thought had strong premiership credentials at the start of the season was the Warriors and they look to have rediscovered the formula that works best for them and that's to not get tied down to a very structured style.

They've got so many talented players and so many big guys that can offload the ball and that's what the Warriors are known for. When they get back to that ad lib footy and just throwing the ball around and taking their chances, that's when they are at their most dangerous.

People may question whether that would hold up in the pressure of finals football should they finish in the top eight but they would be arguably the most frightening prospect for any semi-final team.

They're just so unpredictable and that's the hardest thing when you play against them.

When you come up against great sides such as Melbourne or the Cowboys you know what you're going to get. But with the Warriors you simply don't know and that's the hardest thing as an opposition player.

Even though you can train for it, practise for it and watch video, at the end of the day those guys are at their best when they're just throwing the ball around and taking their chances off that.

That's a scary proposition for anyone at finals time.