BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 09: David Fifita of the Broncos consoles team mate James Roberts during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

League great Kevin Walters has stated Brisbane could get ‘beaten up’ again during finals campaigns if they don’t address the issue of their worrying defensive record.

Brisbane suffered a huge and unexpected 48-18 loss to the injury-hit St George Illawarra Dragons on Sunday which sees them bundle out of the 2018 NRL Finals series.

The former Broncos captain has dismissed the criticism of defamed halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima, saying their defence is the only thing from stopping the club breaking a 12-year premiership drought.

If the loss wasn’t enough for super coach Wayne Bennett to ponder over, his immediate future is up in air as an upcoming Broncos board meeting regarding whether he’ll remain head coach in 2019 looms over his head.

Bennett is contracted to the Broncos for the 2019 season, but talk floating around is the outcome of this said board meeting could determine if the seven-time premiership coach walks away from the club.

Walters, who was Bennett’s former assistant, told Sky Sports Radio he believes Bennett will stay on and his main priority is to fix their leaky defence.

“Physically they were beaten up (by the Dragons) and defence has been their problem all season,” Walters said.

“You can’t win big end-of-season games if you can’t defend your try line consistently.

“There’s nothing wrong with their halves. Defensively is where they fall down and they need to address that more than anything else.”

Despite being hyped to the extreme ahead of finals, Brisbane were the worst defensive team in the top eight, letting in over 500 points during the regular season, their highest since 2010.

Asked if he thinks Bennett will stay at Brisbane in 2019, Walters believes he will but isn’t too certain about his 2020 chances.

“I can’t see where Wayne is going to go to be honest,” Walters said.

“He’s got another year at the Broncos and would expect him to see that out.

“The board are going to make a decision on what they are going to do.

“Whether they will offer him another term I am not sure – I don’t think they are.

“But that has all got to be determined in the next couple of weeks.”

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