Broncos can repeat 2006 fairytale: Thorn - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos can repeat 2006 fairytale: Thorn

By Jim Morton 17/09/2009 04:19:55 PM Comments (0)

Four-time premiership-winning Broncos forward Brad Thorn believes his beloved former club is surging towards a repeat of their fairytale 2006 NRL title.

According to the dual international, Brisbane's improving young pack only needs to "break even" for their superstar backline to sweep them to a seventh premiership.

While he will play for the All Blacks against the Wallabies in Wellington on the same night, his thoughts aren't far from Saturday's NRL semi-final where his former coach, Wayne Bennett, will plot the Broncos' downfall.

Brisbane have never won a final at Suncorp Stadium, but Thorn felt they would end their bizarre home-ground hoodoo against Bennett's St George Illawarra.

"Sorry Wayne, sorry Wayne," said the 34-year-old, who has cheered his former club on from across the Tasman as they've notched six straight wins after a terrible mid-season slump.

"I'm real pleased with (coach) Ivan Henjak. There's a whole bunch of young guys there that had a good start but went through that low period which is so valuable to them.

"They came through it and got to the other side, it's exciting times for the Broncos.

"Watching the skill level and ability they've got now, I feel like a dinosaur and am glad I left."

Thorn sees the similarities between the current outfit and the up-and-down 2006 side which upset minor premiers Melbourne in the grand final, his NRL swansong before a second stint in rugby union.

"That was a hard season and we came good," Thorn said.

"They've got an amazing backline, the Broncos this year. Their forwards basically only have to break even and they will win that competition in my opinion.

"Their forwards have really stepped up.

"I'm really pleased for them because when I left, and Shane (Webcke) and Petro (Civoniceva) left, there was a lot expected of these guys and people were quite hard on them but they've come through that and shown real character."

The seemingly-ageless Thorn has signed to play through to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand when he'll be 36 if he lines up for the All Blacks.

"I just try to prepare myself each year and I have a real passion for what I do," he said. "It's taken me this far and I thank God it has."

Often the man who delivers the biggest hits for the All Blacks, Thorn was strangely happy on the receiving end of one of his own in Saturday's 32-29 loss to South Africa in Hamilton.

Springbok skipper John Smit lined him up and achieved a bone-crunching get square for Thorn's controversial spear tackle last year.

A strong Christian, Thorn accepted his penance.

"It was a good moment and I'm sure all of South Africa rejoiced," he said. "They haven't been too happy about that situation, so it was good it was John and hopefully they can be at peace now."

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