Brisbane still confident despite form
Brisbane captain Corey Parker insists that his Broncos side are still confident, despite a run of poor performances that have seen last year's grand finalists slip from top of the table contenders to top eight battlers.
The Broncos deny they are in crisis, but it's hard to believe them after conceding 88 points in a fortnight.
Brisbane are now just two points inside the top eight, with the once-premiership favourites being jumped by the Canberra Raiders and Canterbury Bulldogs over the weekend– leaving Wayne Bennett's team sitting in seventh.
A slump over the Origin period is nothing new for Brisbane, but it's the side's lack of defensive effort that is raising alarm bells at the club after another smashing on Friday night.
But Parker said his squad are still full of confidence, with the 34-year-old making the claim that the Broncos are beginning to improve.
"The confidence in the group is still there," Parker said.
"Obviously it's hard not to notice the scoreboard over the last couple of weeks but it's about moving forward.
"I do think we are improving and these past couple of weeks have been a learning curve for the young blokes in the side.
"There's still a long way to go in the season and I know we'll get better."
But it appears Parker's confidence is not felt entirely throughout the playing group, with second-row forward Alex Glenn admitting that he and his teammates are struggling to keep their heads up.
"You're obviously going to drop a bit of confidence after our most recent results," Glenn said.
"I do think it's taking its toll on the boys, but it's at times like this that we have to stay strong and stay together as a unit.
"We can only get out of this situation by doing the hard yards as a group.
"The bye is a good opportunity to freshen up and then we'll come back and work very hard towards the end of the season."
Glenn's honesty gives a great insight into the struggles Brisbane's squad are facing after losing six of their last eight matches.
The bye this week has come at the perfect time, but it's most likely that six members of the squad won't get a break as they leave for Queensland Origin duty on Monday.
Parker, Matt Gillett, Corey Oates, Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire and Darius Boyd are all likely to back up after Game Three, with Brisbane travelling to Sydney in Round 19 to play the struggling South Sydney Rabbitohs in a must-win clash for the Broncos if they are to turn their form around.
Oates suffered concussion on Friday night, but is expected to be fine to play for the Maroons in Game Three.