Broncos call on defensive reinforcements
The Broncos have brought in reinforcements following their 18-point loss to the Parramatta Eels, with coach Wayne Bennett calling on the help of former enforcer Peter Ryan to try and reverse Brisbane's defensive woes.
Ryan led an intense training session on Monday, barking orders at the Broncos' pack as they ramped up their preparations for Thursday's blockbuster against the North Queensland Cowboys.
Defence was the focus of the day for Brisbane after they embarrassingly conceded 52 points against the Eels at Suncorp Stadium in Round 25, with this result just the second time the Broncos have had 50 points put on them at the venue.
Ryan, who currently works as a defensive coach for the ACT Brumbies in the Super Rugby, played 155 games for the Broncos.
Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy once described Ryan as "one of the most devastating defenders to have played the game" and it is hoped his style of play will rub off on Brisbane's squad.
Captain Darius Boyd was impressed with what Ryan offered, saying the fresh face brought a new dynamic to the Broncos' session.
"He's a defensive coach. He was known for his defence when he played. He's been around to a few different clubs in a few different codes," Boyd said.
"It's good to have someone of his stature come in and go over a few things that we think we need to fix up before finals time.
"It's always good to see some fresh faces. He's someone that won a few premierships at this club. He knows what is takes to win a comp.
"His background is defence. If we want to do anything in this competition we have to defend well."
Arguably Brisbane's best defender, second-row forward Matt Gillett, relished his time with Ryan.
Like Ryan, Gillett's tackling has seen him earn high praise over the years and the Broncos will need the 29-year-old to be at his best heading towards the finals.
Speaking ahead of Brisbane's last match of the regular season, Gillett said his side needed to make amends for their blowout loss to Parramatta.
"Ryan was an enforcer. He's been at the club here before and won premierships. He just had a few little tips for us out there," Gillett said.
"It's something we needed after Thursday night. That performance was pretty embarrassing for us as a football team.
"He's spreading his knowledge and passing it through the players. Hopefully most of the boys take it on board and take it with them towards the end of the season."
The Broncos will welcome back Tevita Pangai Junior, Joe Ofahengaue and Jordan Kahu for Thursday's clash, with all three training strongly on Monday.