Broncos young-guns rise to the challenge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos young-guns rise to the challenge

Jim Morton 11/07/2011 05:48:59 PM Comments (0)

Rising Brisbane fullback Josh Hoffman has declared the Broncos won't repeat their 2010 NRL meltdown with the club's young guns better equipped to handle late-season pressure.

Brisbane are perfectly placed in fourth on the competition ladder in the eight-week run-down to the play-offs, requiring just two more wins to guarantee a finals finish.

But 12 months earlier the Broncos had a solid platform and wilted as rival teams muscled up and overpowered Brisbane's rookies.

Hoffman is one of a dozen youngsters who struggled through the fade-out and are now determined to prove they're a tighter, tougher bunch.

The Mackay-bred back, rewarded as the Broncos best player of 2010, said the the painful lesson of failure, which ultimately led to the downfall of then coach Ivan Henjak, had toughened the side.

"It was a tough back-end of the year for us and we took a lot out of it and are trying to make the most of this year," Hoffman said.

"It was a bit of an experience thing with us young fellas.

"At the end of the year it gets a lot more physical with the sides trying to make the finals.

"We took that out of last year and have brought it into this year."

Brisbane's large band of youngsters have stood up during their challenging Origin period, highlighted by their last-start win at Parramatta Stadium.

Hoffman credited a harder edge in pre-season training for instilling extra steel in the next generation of Broncos stars.

"They had us go through some training camps and boot camps that we really struggled through and that's where we really had to pick up as a team and talk as a team," he said.

"We had to stick together and dig in deep to find that extra one per cent.

"We're all sticking together this year and we're a lot closer than we were last year."

The Broncos will be back full strength and refreshed for Friday night's local derby against the Gold Coast Titans, with captain Darren Lockyer and his five Maroons teammates returning to training on Thursday.

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