Bennett: We self-destructed
Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett has described his side's 52-34 loss to the Parramatta Eels as their worst performance of the season.
The Broncos were their own worst enemy on Thursday night, making mistake after mistake in front of a shell-shocked Suncorp Stadium crowd.
The signs were there early, with Brisbane prop Adam Blair offloading in the first tackle of the game to gift Kirisome Auva'a the fastest try in NRL history after 12 seconds.
That mistake from Blair was one of many critical errors Brisbane made close to their try-line, gifting the Eels with field possession and a number of chances to cross the line.
When the Broncos managed to score tries of their own they failed to keep the pressure on, with a number of their senior players knocking on in the sets following their scoring plays.
That is what frustrated Bennett the most, with the master coach believing his side threw away any chance they had of mounting a comeback after trailing 24-0 early in the match.
"We started the way you don't want to start and it just snowballed from there," Bennett said.
"I thought at times we were doing some pretty good things and then they just self-destructed more than anything else.
"There was a fair bit of effort there at times, but I think we had about six kick-off sets and we only competed one of those.
"Besides dropping the ball on the first tackle of the game, the next worst thing you can do in the game is not completing your set after you've scored a try. I think we had five of those occasions. It was just a bad night."
Brisbane finished the match with 12 errors and a completion rate of just 73 per cent and it cost them dearly, with the Eels piling on nine tries.
But the Broncos cannot dwell on the disappointing performance for long, with a trip to North Queensland to face the Cowboys only six days away.
How Brisbane perform in that clash will give a good indication of their response to Thursday night's belting, with Bennett wanting his side to learn from their mistakes.
"It's a concern if we carry our baggage with us. We've done a lot of good things this season, but we had our worst performance of the season [on Thursday night]," he said.
"The season doesn't depend on one game, particular during the home and away part of it.
"We just have to recognise we've had a bad night. We can't avoid it and we can't make excuses for it.
"The game is based on fundamentals and when you get away from those fundamentals you are destined for failure."