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A lost opportunity for Ethan Bullemor.

If the struggling Broncos don't upset runaway competition leaders Penrith on Thursday night, they will collect yet another unwanted record in their wretched 2020 season.

No Brisbane team in the past 32 years has lost eight regular-season games in a row with the current side in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.

The Broncos have lost eight games in a row twice previously in streaks which carried into the playoffs.

In 2003 they lost seven on the trot to finish the regular season before succumbing to eventual premiers Penrith in the qualifying final.

In 2005 the Broncos lost five regular seasons games, two finals and then the first game of the 2006 season to complete an eight-game losing run.

Those previous losing streaks were on the back of torrid Origin affairs where the Broncos supplied the majority of their team to the Maroons and had performed well enough to still play finals football.

However their recent losing streak has resulted in Brisbane falling to 15th place on the ladder, hot on the heals of a six-game losing sequence from round three to round eight.

The Broncos are already on track for their worst ladder finish, their worst average points conceded in a season – currently at 32.7 – and their worst points differential which is now minus 301 and rapidly worsening.

Interim coach Peter Gentle said he was hoping for more than just an end to the side’s losing streak in the remaining four rounds.

"We are actually chasing some wins, not just one. We have got four games," Gentle said in the lead-up to the clash at Suncorp Stadium.

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"We have changed training up a bit and brought some variation to the content with the hope of getting a response and a positive performance from the boys.

"We conceded 58 points last week [against the Roosters] and that is nowhere near good enough.

"As Patty [Carrigan] said after the game, it is embarrassing, so we did a couple of conditioning blocks the other day to get them defending under fatigue and went a lot longer with our captain’s run, just some subtle changes to get a response.

"We have still got sponsors and people that turn up and cheer and we have to give them a reason. They haven’t given up and we are really looking forward to getting out there against Penrith."

Gentle said he was pleased to have Payne Haas and Issac Luke back from suspension, and Corey Oates returning from a ghastly leg injury suffered in round 10.

"They have all played big games those three boys and we are desperately lacking that at the moment so it is very welcome to have them back," he said.

Gentle also explained the absence of centre Jordan Kahu, who has not been seen at training this week.

"He had a sore throat earlier in the week and had to get COVID tested and we haven’t had the results of that yet. He can’t come into the bubble until he gets the results," he said.

Broncos veteran Jordan Kahu.
Broncos veteran Jordan Kahu. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

The Broncos will decide on a new coach to replace Anthony Seibold in the coming weeks but Gentle is happy being an assistant and won’t be throwing his hat in the ring.

"Not a chance," he said.

"I have still got a year to run on my contract and I know how this game works with a new coach coming in. What will be, will be.

"You can have the head coaching role. I was head coach in Hull for a couple of years and it takes you away from the hands-on coaching.

"There is a lot of peripheral stuff you have to look after whereas as an assistant coach you are dealing with the players one-on-one.

"You are a nobody, which is fine by me. Head coaching is becoming more and more like the Premier League with a manager."

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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