Brisbane will hunt for a weakness in Ben's armour
Dragons halfback Ben Hunt can expect plenty of traffic to come his way when he returns to Suncorp Stadium to face his former team in Sunday's sudden death semi-final.
Hunt had a stellar start to the year and won a Queensland No.7 jersey on the back of it, but his form at the back end of the season has mirrored that of the Dragons.
Hunt was at his brilliant best when the Red V pumped Brisbane 34-12 in round one and Broncos captain Darius Boyd knows only too well what he has to offer.
"He is a quality player and got the seven jersey, which was definitely warranted, for Queensland this year," Boyd said after the Broncos whipped Manly 48-16.
"We need to attack him in certain ways to tire him out, but we'll probably go through a game plan this week. Ben Hunt is a quality player and we'll need to watch out for him."
Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford said he was expecting his former halves partner to shine.
"Ben is going to be at his best," Milford said.
"It is a different ball game in finals, and I think it will be bring out the best in him. We'll need to be on our game and stop him."
Boyd described the recent criticism of Hunt's form from certain quarters as "terrible".
"It is hard not to hear all the criticism, which is pretty disappointing," he said.
"I don't want to go into it too much but we are all human beings and we all play rugby league for the love and fun of it and some of the criticism he has got is pretty disappointing in my opinion.
"I hope he has a good game, not good enough to beat us, but good in its own right because he is a good fella and a good player."
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett went into semi-final mode at his post-match press conference. He said he was "not unhappy" about securing a home semi-final
"It is what you want," he said.
"I just wanted us to play well here today. The best thing we've got going for us at the moment is that we are playing good football and after that it doesn't matter."
Bennett gave winger Corey Oates a rap after he equalled the club record of four tries in a match against Manly.
"There were a couple of really good tries in that as well," he said.
"They just weren't catch-and-pass situations for him. He'll get a lot of confidence out of it. He was good last week and very good today."
As for Oates' timing his contract talks to perfection, Bennett offered that "he's put a few more zeros on it but I'm not sure we can pay them".
The biggest thrashing the Broncos received this year was in round one against the Dragons. Bennett was asked how much of a different side Brisbane was now compared to then and how much the side learned from that game, but the answer will have to wait a week.
"It is a long time ago. I've nearly forgotten it. It's a new game here on Sunday and I'll answer that question after the game," he said.
"I haven't been following [the Dragons] that close. All I know is that they have finished on the same amount of points as we did and I assume they did some good things during the season."
Bennett confirmed Andrew McCullough would be back for the Dragons clash after sitting out the week with concussion and was hopeful Alex Glenn would have recovered from a calf strain.