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Broncos players after letting in a try.

Mitchell Pearce copped a month's worth of frustration in the back on Thursday night, and Pat Carrigan is set to cop at least a week on the sidelines for it.

If there was any one play that summed up Brisbane's bumbling four weeks since the NRL resumption, this was it.

Unnecessary, well off the pace, and expensive.

Since 2014 Brisbane have consistently ranked among the most disciplined sides in the competition.

Never worse than sixth for penalties conceded, and often among the stingiest two or three in the league.

In 2020 the Broncos are giving away more penalties (eight a game) and significantly, more six-again ruck infringements (six per game) than any other team.

The knives are out for Anthony Milford, whose contract ranks him as one of the highest-paid Broncos in club history.

His running game over the past month ranks him as one of the least-threatening halves in the game.

He and Brodie Croft have shown little, but have had even less to work with, as frustration takes hold.

Carrigan sent to sin-bin for late contact on Pearce

As a result of Brisbane's repeated ill-discipline, they're working with 43.8 per cent of possession since the start of the season, again the worst in the NRL.

An 18-0 lead shortly before half-time against Manly disintegrated into a two-point loss, courtesy of seven second-half penalties and the resulting glut of possession.

An unfortunate injury toll has meant they have been without David Fifita, Jake Turpin, Alex Glenn and Kotoni Staggs at different stages since the NRL's return last month, while the luckless Jack Bird has already written off another season.

Seibold weighing up Dearden injection

That Carrigan will join them on the sidelines for next week's local derby with the Titans, for a shot on Pearce that Andrew Johns labelled "dangerous" and "cheap", beggars belief.

Thomas Flegler is also facing a week's suspension after being charged with grappling with Sione Mata'utia's head and neck midway through the Knights loss.

Staggs has already served a one-week ban for a heavy high shot on Parramatta's Dylan Brown, that one coming as Brisbane's round-three return to the paddock got away from them.

And of course, Tevita Pangai jnr returned from a four-week suspension against Newcastle.

That month-long ban was for a hit to the head of Justin O'Neill, in Pangai's first game back from the five weeks he served for a crusher tackle that prematurely ended his 2019 season.

Brisbane's regular mentions in the weekly judiciary charges speak to the frustrations of an inexperienced side, compounding the ill-discipline that is already setting them up to fail.

Match Highlights: Knights v Broncos

Anthony Seibold has been urged to shuffle his halves and bring 19-year-old Tom Dearden in after another listless loss to Newcastle.

And a Ben Hunt-style shift to the bench might well give Milford the freedom to go after a contest like he did in the opening two rounds, before the NRL went on a two-month hiatus.

But as Seibold rightly pointed out after full-time, there's little a playmaker can do when his teammates are penalising themselves out of a game.


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.

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