With the ‘hit and giggle’ trail matches and the arduous pre-season training regimes now behind each team, fans, coaches, and players alike have set their sights on the real deal – Round 1.
For some clubs, the pre-season period could not have panned out better, whilst the unlucky remainder will be counting the cost of their campaigns.
Although there were a myriad of positives to be taken from the summer months, all teams will be striving to improve on their trail match form and learn from the lessons dealt out across them.
With the first spin of the Steeden within touching distance, we raise the big question that face each of the NRL’s 16 clubs.
Was last year just the tip of the iceberg?
With more rings than he can fit on his preferred hand and Origin wins in both boots and a blazer, there is absolutely no denying that Kevin Walters is a born winner.
Still, as the new Broncos’ coach, the task ahead of ‘Kevvie’ is steep to say the least.
Brisbane are already starting the season from rock bottom and after losing arguably the best back rower in the game in David Fifita at the end of 2020, that is where expectations for the Red Hill franchise are set to remain.
Due to his standing with the club and in the game, Walters will be granted a honeymoon period in his new role, however, if the scenes at the end of last season are anything to go by, it won’t be for too long.
I thought the Broncos only won one wooden spoon but fortunately their fans have thrown dozens more onto their training paddock to remind them 😆 pic.twitter.com/mFKjyjWWlZ
— NRLCEO Fantasy Footy (@Fantasy_NRLCEO) September 25, 2020
If Walters is to improve on Brisbane’s three-win 2020 season that saw the former powerhouse club obliterated on numerous occasions, he needs to decipher who his halves combination is well before the Origin break.
With Tom Dearden missing out on selection for Round 1, Walters has opted for experience at halfback and five-eighth against the Eels by selecting Brodie Croft and Anthony Milford.
— Brisbane Broncos (@brisbanebroncos) March 9, 2021
Whether this will bring success or not, only time will tell, but in a long season with a patchy list, it appears that recent history will repeat itself as it seems that their whole organization is still yet to uncover how large the iceberg ahead of the SS Brisbane truly is.