Silence is killing the Broncos with skipper Alex Glenn revealing the lack of talk by his team in defence is the biggest issue Brisbane must fix if they’re to get their house in order.
Coach Kevin Walters said the priority in his first season at the Broncos this year was to fix their defence, but after 14 games they’ve conceded 436 points to be ranked the worst in the NRL after letting in 130 points in the past three weeks.
Glenn said he confronted his team about the lack of talk after they were trounced 52-24 by the Dragons in his return from injury two weeks ago and while there was some improvement in the 38-16 loss to Canberra, they’re still well off what is required to compete at this level.
“I’ve been in successful teams and when you’re in a successful team no one shuts up out on that field,” Glenn said.
“Prime example is Darren Lockyer, his voice was always gone because he just didn’t shut up in attack and defence.
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“You can’t be a tight-knit group out there in defence with no talk.
“In the past we’ve been very quiet. When you’re in defence and there’s no talk you tend to lose trust in the man beside you so you start coming in when you shouldn’t be coming in.
“The talk on the field you can’t see it through the cameras, but our talk next to each other has picked up big time (in the last week).”
Glenn said he’d deliberately moved to defend closer to the ruck so he could improve the talk from the middle defenders and put more pressure on the opposition halfback.
He believes Brisbane will get back on track if they improve their defensive discipline.
I’ve been in successful teams and when you’re in a successful team no one shuts up out on that fieldAlex Glenn
“Our discipline needs to be a lot stronger because we are getting gassed out there pretty quick,” he said.
“When you’re losing you tend to try too hard. Our desire is there it’s just our discipline, when we get lazy doing head highs or laying in the ruck it’s just over time you can wear a couple of them throughout the game but if you keep doing it then it is hard to get the ball back and build momentum.
“We can’t over-think what we’re doing. I feel like we tend to do that. We just have to keep it simple.
“We know how to win games it just when we get out there and start getting fatigued our discipline is letting us down.”
Glenn said Brisbane’s string of defeats had begun to take its toll but his lasting legacy as captain would be to see the young Broncos come out the other side of this two-year funk.
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“If I am honest it is frustrating, I think it’s frustrating for a lot of us not just myself as captain,” Glenn said.
“You test yourself and your character in these adverse situations, your true character comes out.
“It’s easy to be a leader when your team is winning and you’re at the top. This is teaching me a lot and I’m just trying to keep these boys spirits high and the tide will turn and we just have to keep working hard.”
Glenn, 32, is off contract at the Broncos and while he has yet to decide if he will play on next season, he admits it would be tough to play anywhere else but Brisbane.
“I always said to myself I want to give it a red-hot crack and make sure my body is good. I don’t want to be selfish and hang on,” he said.
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“I haven’t made my decision yet. I want a few more games under my belt and push myself to the limit. The speed of the game is faster and it’s pushing us older blokes out but that's the reality of the sport.
“I don’t see myself going somewhere for one year or two years. But in saying that you never know what can happen and I’m open to all options."