Broncos poised for finals assault - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos poised for finals assault

By Jim Morton 06/09/2008 12:05:26 PM Comments (0)

Broncos king Darren Lockyer and heir apparent Karmichael Hunt have delivered a warning to their NRL rivals by rating Brisbane well placed for a back-door premiership assault.

The Broncos couldn't improve their fifth-place standing with their final-round 24-2 thumping of Newcastle on Friday night but gained plenty of confidence for the finals series through the dominant performance.

Brisbane will kick off the play-off series with a Friday night clash against the Sydney Roosters at Sydney Football Stadium after the Roosters clinched fourth spot with their grinding 10-0 win over St George Illawarra.

While the Broncos' Suncorp Stadium victory was celebrated largely as a fitting home-town farewell to veteran coach Wayne Bennett and veteran Tonie Carroll, the performance meant much more to Bennett himself.

His club now enters their 17th consecutive finals campaign looking like bona fide contenders.

Skipper Lockyer believed the five-try shutout of a Knights outfit which upset defending premiers and favourites Melbourne last week was a huge lift in form.

"We got a lot of confidence out of our defence (last night)," he said. "The previous couple of weeks we let in 20 points, so for the Knights not to cross our tryline is a big effort.

"In the end that's how you win premierships, on the back of your defensive performance."

"The conditions didn't really allow us to play open-style football, (but) we adapted to it."

Man-of-the-match Hunt rated the emphatic victory as "one of our best" of a topsy-turvy season but said they knew they still had more to deliver.

"We fell away in parts of the game," said the 21-year-old fullback, who became the youngest player to 100 top-grade matches.

"We were a bit scrappy in that we didn't really put our foot down and take it away from them.

"It was a pretty special night for Tunza (Carroll) and Wayne and we'll get a lot of confidence for the semi-finals and looking forward to next week."

The fact Brisbane also escaped unscathed on the injury front was also reason to cheer after Justin Hodges, who started off the bench due to an eye infection and virus, was cleared of a shoulder injury.

Hunt was in sterling form, crossing for a powerful solo try after halftime and setting up three of the four others scored on the night.

"Whether it was my 100th or 99th I just wanted to go out there and play some good football," he said.

"It's important to get a lot of good form under your belt in these last games before the semi-finals and that's what I wanted to do tonight."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news