Broncos veterans lay down the law heading into finals
The Brisbane Broncos leadership group has vowed to put their 824 games of NRL experience to work to lift the club out of a late-season slump and secure a spot in the finals.
Alex Glenn (234 games), Sam Thaiday (300) and captain Darius Boyd (288) make up the trifecta of tried and true veterans who have got the squad together this week to address the shortcoming exhibited by Brisbane in consecutive losses to the Bulldogs and Cowboys, and how to turn it around.
The Broncos are in eighth position on the Telstra Premiership ladder on 26 points and play the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, followed by the Roosters (away) and Sea Eagles (home).
The Broncos run the risk of being overhauled by the ninth-placed Wests Tigers, on 24 points.
Glenn said the leadership group had decided "we've got to be a bit more responsible with the way we lead the team".
"We've gone through our reviews and we grabbed all the boys and said that as a leadership group we all need to step up," Glenn told NRL.com.
"These crucial games it comes down to how we manage the games, defensively and in attack. Myself, Sammy and Darbs have all got to lead by example and be clinical, and then we lean on guys like Josh McGuire and Macca [Andrew McCullough] because of their experience.
"We've addressed it and we trained [on Monday] with the energy that we want to train with, and if we do our jobs collectively as a leadership group the team is going to follow us."
The Broncos have conceded more points than any other side in the top eight and must improve their middle defence against a Rabbitohs side that will be coming through the middle on the back of the power of the Burgess brothers.
"There have been areas of our game, when it has come down to the wire, where we haven't competed as hard as we should," Glenn said.
"It is a discipline thing. It is a mental thing, and we have recapped that and everyone is on the same page.
"To win games it comes down to defence and our defence has let us down the last couple of weeks.
"We know they are going to come through the middle. Their hooker [Damien Cook] is super quick and they’ve got the big Burgess brothers who are just steaming through the middle. We've got to lock them up and prevent their momentum."
The Broncos have conceded 70 points in the last two weeks and Glenn said the same kind of displays in the coming weeks could be terminal for their title hopes.
"There’s no fall-back from here and we don’t want to let the last 20 weeks go to waste," Glenn said.
"We have to make sure that everyone knows we are all on the same page and that we are nailing everything.
"I'm never going to stop being hungry for success. I want to retire with a [premiership] ring on my finger so I am working my rear end off to give our team the opportunity."