Broncos have to bounce back from loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos have to bounce back from loss

By Wayne Heming 04/04/2009 12:58:20 PM Comments (0)

Rookie Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak knew a loss was just around the corner following his dream NRL start.

But he would have preferred if his first defeat to be inflicted by anyone but his former boss Wayne Bennett in front of 45,000 fans.

Losing was not the issue.

But losing to Bennett could carry some psychological scars which Henjak and his players may have to deal with later in the season.

Henjak copped the Bennett bashing on the chin.

If he's as sharp as he seems, he'll dissect his performance and that of his players and do as Bennett always did - learn more about himself from a loss than a win.

"It wasn't our best performance." offered Henjak adding his players looked flat and lacking the energy they'd shown in the previous three weeks.

"No excuses, they were better than us tonight (Friday).

"They were physical, we expected that but for some reason we didn't match them in that department and we got what we deserved.

"We'll have a look at it early in the week and we'll move on."

The potential damage from a loss like Friday night's with so much hype surrounding the clash of Bennett and his apprentice Henjak is the worry for Brisbane.

Bennett didn't have to be Einstein to come up with some of the tactics which lessened the impact of Brisbane's much vaunted multi-million dollar Hollywood backline.

It wasn't a coincidence that every time playmaker Jamie Soward kicked the football it landed on the grass on the opposite side of the field to the mountainous Israel Folau.

And it wasn't a coincidence either that the Dragons played it tight and got in the Broncos' face all night in greasy conditions.

The pressure they applied was such that even champion Darren Lockyer came up with two intercept passes out of desperation to get his outside attack into the contest.

Lockyer, who stopped short of labelling the performance as "average" would have been disappointing with the loss against Bennett and with his own contribution although he never stopped trying.

But he said with such a young team, the loss would do them the world of good.

"Definitely. You have to learn from your defeats," said Lockyer.

"There was a lot being said about us and eventually we were going to have a loss.

"We had it tonight. We'll go back to training on Monday and get that hunger back to go down and play the Roosters next Friday night.

Bennett refused to buy into how much the win against his old club meant or how emotional he was coming back to Brisbane.

Was there any nerves coming back?

"Why would I have nerves?" he fired.

What was the emotion?

"None, I'm a football coach doing a job."

Asked if he'd noticed anything different about the Broncos from when he coached last year, he paused and said: "they've still got the great Darren Lockyer, that's going to worry you".

"They've been playing really well the last three weeks.

"They had a tough road trip to Auckland which has its impact on the season and we just come here at the right time."

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