With just over a week to go until the NRL kicks off, we lay down an extended preview for each club. Below is a look at the new-look Broncos.
The Broncos did well to qualify for finals after a disruptive 2019, although they really needn’t have bothered.
Such was the embarrassing pasting they copped at the hands of the Eels, questions were asked far beyond the infamous “pokie” night.
I’d previously described Brisbane as botching a rebuild that they didn’t need, and I stand by that.
They ended 2019 in an absolute whimper and should be looking to send a message early on in the new year.
Predicted Best Player: Payne Haas
All aboard! The hype train is absolutely powering forward and I’m firmly in my seat.
I expect this kid to make easy work of so called “second year syndrome” and continue his rapid ascent.
It’s not often that a front rower dominates headlines, but Haas is special. He’ll be causing plenty of nightmares amongst opposition players and coaching staff.
Predicted Top Scorer: Corey Oates
It seems like a long time ago now re talks of Oates future being in the second row.
Oates remains the Broncos go to out wide and will look to continue his amazing try scoring record to date.
The new laws re not being able to tackle attacking players in the air is going to be music to the rep wingers ears.
Surely Milford and co have spent the summer kicking to the corners. Could be a big year for Oates. 14 tries!
Brodie Croft is the big “in” and should immediately solve the Broncos struggles at 7.
This should free Milford up after a horror 2019 season saw him shifted to fullback following a poor showing in the halves.
Croft can control, Milford can play what’s in front of him. That’s the blueprint.
Kahu returns from his brief stint with the Cowboys adding another experienced option.
2020 Final Position: 9th
The Broncos barely scraped into the 8 after a fairly disasterous year in 2019, but with a full off-season under Anthony Griffin should be better positioned in 2020.
So why do I have them missing the 8?
Simply put, there are eight better teams than this current Broncos outfit. Arguably 9 or 10, but the individual brilliance of Milford and Haas is worth those extra wins to secure nineth.
Brisbane have one of the most talented rosters in the game but also have some huge issues and/or questions.
What do they do with Jack Bird? It looks as though he has gone from outcast being shopped around for no takers, to starting fullback in a matter of months.
Jamayne Isaako looked like the next big thing. His mooted move into the fullback role was meant to unlock the newest Broncos superstar. He wasn’t even named in the run on squad for the club’s last trial and is supposedly on the outter.
Matt Lodge has done his ACL and is gone for the season. He was linked with an Origin birth and if not for his horror history likely would have been in the squad somewhere.
The Broncos will start with a rookie number nine, while they look to be dedicating a centre position to Darius Boyd based purely on his incredible contributions to the club rather than his form.
A big part of how Brisbane starts depends on how quickly the new look spine clicks. Bird/Isaako, Croft, Milford and Turpin have to hit the ground running. Considering only one of those players was in the Brisbane spine last year, that’s a tough ask.
It’s been almost literally forever since the Broncs failed to feature in the finals, but 2020 is the season.