Ben Hunt: Storm loss our low point
It was the low point in a form slump that Broncos half Ben Hunt says was unlike anything he had ever previously experienced but the Brisbane No.7 believes the 48-6 loss to the Storm in Round 17 showed just how far they were off the pace midway through the season.
The Broncos were blown off the park at Suncorp Stadium eight weeks ago but are in a much better frame of mind ahead of their rematch against Melbourne at AAMI Park on Friday night.
A dominant 20-10 win over the Bulldogs last week was Brisbane's third win on the trot and while they have come a long way, Hunt writes in this week's issue of Big League that they are not yet free of the slump that threatened to derail their season.
"That was the low point of our season, but it was also a huge turning point for us," Hunt said of the Melbourne drubbing.
"They were extremely good and we were off the pace.
"We didn't go into the game with the right attitude, didn't defend well and didn't attack well either.
"I've never been through anything like what we went through at the Broncos in the middle of the season. Obviously I've been part of different teams that have gone through rough patches of form, but that was a long run.
"We'd lost a couple of games in a row in the past, but losing every week takes a lot out of you and drains you mentally. It was something we had to fight through and hopefully we have now.
"We're definitely not out of our form slump yet, though. We've won a couple of games, but we haven't been overly convincing."
Prior to their loss to the Storm Hunt wrote that in order to be successful against the most disciplined team in the competition that you had to mitigate their forward pack.
While that still remains true of a Storm forward pack bursting with internationals, Hunt believes the Raiders may have given the rest of the competition something of a blue-print in exposing the Storm defensively.
"Canberra beat the Storm in Round 23 playing an ad-lib style of football and I think other teams may begin to copy that when they take on Cameron Smith and co," Hunt says.
"Melbourne are very structured in the way they attack and defend, so if you come at them with structured football yourself they're going to shut you down.
"Hopefully we can get a bit of second phase-play and play what's in front of us. That could provide us with opportunities to score points against the best defensive side in the competition."
The Round 25 issue of Big League is on sale now at newsagents and at the ground. The digital version is also available through www.zinio.com, the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play.