Broncos young pack stand up to bullies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos young pack stand up to bullies

By Todd Balym 13/09/2008 11:53:03 AM Comments (0)

Brisbane prop Ben Hannant doubts the Broncos will ever silence the critics of their young forward pack even after proving they won't be bullied during the NRL finals series.

The Broncos overcame a brutal early onslaught from the Sydney Roosters at the SFS on Friday night to claim a 24-16 qualifying final win and secure a home final.

Prop Joel Clinton was knocked out in the third minute and never returned to the field while second rower Corey Parker was also left dazed by a heavy first half hit.

After the departures of Petero Civoniceva, Dane Carlaw, Brad Thorn and Shane Webcke since their 2006 premiership win critics had questioned whether the Broncos pack could stand up under pressure this year.

They answered those doubters with an emphatic performance on Friday night but Hannant says it won't change the critics.

"People have been saying stuff all year and will probably keep saying stuff but we just keep out of it and focus on what we can do," said Hannant.

"We're just a good forward pack that works hard for each other.

"They were sort of bully tactics (by the Roosters), trying to target us and take blokes out.

"It was just a good tough game. That is what semi-finals football is all about. It was good to get into a good arm wrestle and come out the other side."

What Brisbane's win over the Roosters did prove is that the Broncos are indeed genuine title contenders this year, with bookmakers promoting them to second favourites behind defending premier Melbourne.

Hannant was a member of the 2006 premiership-winning team and says there is growing confidence within the 2008 squad at the right time of year.

"We're a real tight bunch of blokes and everyone is working hard for each other and all working for that one goal," he said.

"We went through a tough patch there for a while and this is a long season but this is a new comp now and you want to have a bit of momentum and play good footy.

"It looks like we're building in the right direction."

Veteran forward Tonie Carroll, who is set to retire at the end of 2008, said he welcomed the chance for another Suncorp Stadium farewell but wouldn't be drawn on whether he'd get the ultimate send-off with a fifth premiership.

"We're just concentrating on each performance," said Carroll.

"If you guys (the media) want to label it that, well good on you, we just have a job to do and it's going well for us at the moment.

"That is the key to this time of year, having your full compliment on the field and bar Steve Michaels week in week out we have been doing that.

"We are getting good continuity with the players out there and enjoying our time."

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