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Brisbane can stop Storm, says Langer

19/08/2008 04:40:42 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane greats Allan Langer and Ben Ikin reckon the Broncos are one of the few sides capable of stopping Melbourne from claiming successive NRL premierships.

But they agree the Broncos must tighten up their defence and rediscover some of the attacking flair of past Brisbane sides.

Coach Wayne Bennett wielded the selection axe for Friday's derby against the Gold Coast by dropping wingers Reece Robinson and Taine Manihera.

Joel Moon will partner Justin Hodges, back from suspension, in the centres while Darius Boyd shifts to the wing where he played so well in Queensland's Origin series triumph.

Ikin, a member of the Brisbane side that plucked the Roosters 14-6 in the 2000 grand final, said the return of classy duo Hodges and Karmichael Hunt plus the defensive sting of Tonie Carroll would help the Broncos in both departments.

"Someone made the comment to me the other day that if you took Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Michael Crocker out of the Storm side it would make a big difference," said Ikin.

"Brisbane need to keep all their key players on the field and build towards the finals.

"I still think at full strength and playing their best they are one of the few sides capable of testing Melbourne."

Langer, who orchestrated four of Brisbane's six premierships under Wayne Bennett, would like to see the Broncos get more adventurous.

"At times they go one-out too much but they have Hodgo and Karmichael back and those guys can score great tries," said Langer, who will join Brisbane's coaching staff under Ivan Henjak next season.

Langer, who will also be on national coach Ricky Stuart's World Cup staff later this year, said Brisbane were good enough to win the premiership if they started to build some momentum.

Moon, who scored a try off a `circus' pass from Darren Lockyer last week, was excited about the prospect of cementing a spot in the centres.

"I've been working really hard on my defence at training and playing against Mark Gasnier last week, he's big and strong and fast," Moon told AAP.

"But I really enjoy it, playing with all the boys and the more I play the more confident I get."

Brisbane forward David Stagg admitted Brisbane had lost the momentum gained from four straight wins with losses to the Warriors and Dragons.

"Last week was probably a good reality check," said Stagg, who became a father the day before the St George Illawarra game.

"It will help if we can keep the same team each week and having those guys, Hodges, Hunt and Carroll back is certainly going to help us.

"We haven't had that consistency for the last five or six weeks."

Meanwhile, Stagg said Titans halfback Scott Prince could expect a busy night after struggling at times defensively against the Cowboys last weekend in his early comeback from a broken arm.

"Prince is a quality player and while we haven't spoken about it, I'm sure there'll be some traffic heading his way," said Stagg.

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