Broncos fearing return of Dragons wall - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos fearing return of Dragons wall

Steve Jancetic and Wayne Heming 13/09/2011 06:05:08 PM Comments (0)

Their defence may have resembled a sieve against Wests Tigers, but Brisbane are fearing a return of the red and white wall in Saturday night's semi-final against St George Illawarra.

The Dragons were opened up on a number of occasions as the Tigers engineered a 21-12 win in Friday night's qualifying final, their two tries after halftime barely a fair reflection of the opportunities they created.

It was a surprising performance for ateam which had once prided itself on defence, a defence which was the hallmark for their breakthrough 2010 premiership triumph.

But the Broncos expect the Dragons to plug the gaps at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, skipper Darren Lockyer not expecting to get anywhere near the same latitude he was afforded in his side's big win over the Warriors.

"Defensively they're still the best in the competition with Manly," Lockyer said of the Dragons.

"Defensively they're always very good, that's what Wayne (coach Wayne Bennett) is good at."

The last time the two sides met at Suncorp Stadium, back in round 15, the Dragons produced one of their worst defensive efforts under Bennett.

The premiers came up with an astonishing 46 missed tackles in that 21-14 loss to the Broncos, which was part of the astonishing slide in which they won just two of 11 matches.

The only time they have come up with more missed tackles under Bennett was in their qualifying final loss to Parramatta in 2009, when they had 27.

Lockyer, whose long relationship with Bennett offers him an insight into how the mastercoach will attempt to shut down the Broncos, said his side couldn't become frustrated if they went long periods without scoring.

When leading the Tigers 12-6 on Friday night, the Dragons seemed content to rely on their defence as they attempted a tough penalty goal and field goal just before halftime.

They had used the same philosophy so many times in 2010 and again during the first half of the 2011 season, but the Tigers pounced after the break with two quick tries.

"It's about being patient because the opportunities that present themselves against the Dragons might not be too many," Lockyer said.

"We can't make the mistake of letting their defence frustrate us because that can play into their hands."

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