Injuries no excuse against Storm: Bennett
A livid Wayne Bennett has offered no excuse for his side's poor performance on Friday night, saying the Brisbane Broncos simply failed to get the job done against a dominant Melbourne Storm outfit.
Craig Bellamy's side thrashed the Broncos from start to finish, with the 42-12 scoreline embarrassing Wayne Bennett's men in front of their home crowd at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane were their own worst enemy, completing just three of their first seven sets to help Melbourne score three tries in the first 16 minutes.
It did not get much better for the Broncos, finishing the match with a completion rate of 59 per cent – completing just 19 of 32 sets.
It was always going to be tough for Brisbane without captain Darius Boyd, Corey Oates and five-eighth Anthony Milford, and their job got even harder when they lost lock Josh McGuire to concussion in the seventh minute.
Bennett said the injuries weren't an excuse for the result and instead put the onus on the error-ridden performances from the 16 fit players who finished the game.
"I could give you a thousand excuses [if I wanted to]. We would love to have Darius Boyd, Anthony Milford and somebody else but we didn't have them," Bennett said.
"We've been getting the job done and we didn't get it done tonight. Josh wasn't there but we can't worry about who we don't have.
"We train here to do our best and be our best and take what comes our way. We can't worry about who doesn't play for us.
"Melbourne were too good for us. They outplayed us. Our ball control let us down.
"The first four tries came from silly errors from us. They were unforced and unnecessary in crucial field positions.
"Last week we played Canberra in a high quality game and we didn't make one of those errors. Everybody drops their lip a little bit when it happens.
"No team in the competition executes better than the Storm and they were executing tonight. They made us pay for it."
No one was hurting more after the loss than stand-in captain Adam Blair whose solemn face told the story of the night.
Disappointed with his team's execution, Blair said the Broncos did not turn up to play.
"We just weren't there tonight. They were better than us for most of the game," Blair said.
"Our intent wasn't there from the start. I don't know why. The games tough enough as it is, let alone when you make mistakes like we did.
"You can't turn over the amount of ball that we did in the first 20 minutes. It cost us the game."
The Broncos are now at risk of falling out of the top four if Round 17 results go against them.
However, a bye and guaranteed two points in Round 18 should offer them some reprieve heading into the last third of the regular season.
Winnable matches against the 15th-placed Newcastle Knights and 13th-placed Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs follow the bye, before a trip to Parramatta to face the Eels rounds out the next month of football.