Broncos enter unfamiliar territory
The Brisbane Broncos are in unfamiliar territory this week as they prepare for their Round 20 clash against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on the back of a five-day turnaround.
It is the club's first and only five-day turnaround of the year and the Bulldogs are sure to be fresh after having the bye in Round 19.
It has been over 13 months since Brisbane last had a five-day turnaround, with that happening between Round 13 and Round 14 of last year's season.
On that occasion the Broncos were made to play in New Zealand on the Saturday before travelling back to Brisbane to face Canberra on the following Thursday.
However, it did not appear to hinder them, with Brisbane cruising to an eight-point win over the Raiders at Suncorp Stadium.
Now it is time for Wayne Bennett's men to again play on limited preparation and for the players it is a weird feeling to be thrown out of their regular routine.
"I was saying that to one of the boys this morning. It's been a long time since we've had a five-day turnaround but it's just the way the schedule was. We have to get the job done," second-rower Alex Glenn said.
"It is a bit strange for us. We generally have Friday night games and we have a routine but this throws it out the door a little bit. Monday was business as usual so not much has changed yet."
These thoughts were echoed by veteran Sam Thaiday who said the players had adjusted well and were ready to take on a spirited Bulldogs side that must win to keep their season alive.
"Very short turnaround for us. If you saw us in Newcastle the other morning we were swimming in freezing cold temperatures to try and recover and get right," Thaiday said.
"Even the session we did on Monday, we tried to keep it short and sharp with our focus now on the Bulldogs and making sure everyone's going to be fighting fit and ready to go. Short week but we're preparing well."
Despite sitting 13th on the table, the Bulldogs have the wood on the Broncos this season.
Des Hasler's men ground out a 10-7 victory over Brisbane in Round 5, using the wet conditions to their advantage to secure what was a rare victory this season.
Despite the unexpected loss, the Broncos insist they are not thinking about revenge.
"Not so much getting revenge, we just want to make sure we are playing our brand of football," Glenn said.
"It's our last home game for a little while so we want to make sure we do our fans proud and nail our roles out there as a team.
"We are in the back-end of the season where it's all business now so we have to make sure we are doing all the little things right and all the one-per-centers."