As Korbin Sims prepares for his 100th NRL game against the North Queensland Cowboys, he said the wounds of "a personal jab" would be driving each and every Brisbane Broncos forward.
The pack's performance in the dismal 34-12 loss to St George Illawarra has been panned by pundits with NRL.com columnist Steve Renouf labelling the forwards "soft" and former Broncos hooker Michael Ennis telling Fox Sports that Brisbane lacked a fear factor up front.
Sims admitted the performance was simply not up to scratch and said the forwards knew they had to lift against the Cowboys on Friday night.
"I think each forward took it as a personal jab that we didn't play as well as we wanted to," Sims told NRL.com.
"Across the board, everyone knows they need to be and want to be better. There is no better test than coming up against the Cowboys."
Former Brisbane captain Gorden Tallis said recently that the Broncos lacked size and a dominant forward up front like a Shane Webcke, Glenn Lazarus or Petero Civoniceva, but Sims said that was not the club's issue.
"That was just a very, very un-Bronco-like performance [against the Dragons] and very disappointing to put a performance in like that in the colours that we wear," he said.
"We'll be right. I got to play in this [Queensland] derby last year and it was very up tempo, very fast and physical.
"The boys will be up for this one and it is not a hard game to get pumped for in front of a packed house.
"We all want to play our best football each week but this one will have a bit more punch and a bit more zing in it."
Sims, a former Gerringong junior on the NSW South Coast, started his career at the Broncos and left to go to the Knights where he played 76 games in tough circumstances.
He jumped at the chance to be coached at Brisbane by his old Knights mentor Wayne Bennett in 2017 and said he had no regrets.
"When I was young, the Broncos picked me up first and I went through the junior and elite player program here and played a couple of games in the 20s, so I always wanted to come back," he said.
Match: Broncos v Cowboys
Round 2 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Nine Network
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"I tried my best at the Knights and I love Newcastle as well. There is a proud and rich history at that club, like the Broncos.
"But I always wanted to play for the Broncos and I get my chance to play my 100th NRL game up here in a local derby in front of a packed house. What's better?"
Sims said the broken arm that kept him out of last year's Telstra Premiership finals was well and truly healed and he was ready to fire.
"Coming off the injury I had last year, I feel as though I am in a position to play my best footy this year."