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Round 1 vs. Parramatta Eels Discussion

Big Pete

Referee
Messages
28,355
Brisbane Broncos vs. Parramatta Eels
Suncorp Stadium, Friday 12 March 2021
Kick Off 7:05 (AEST)

BRISBANE-2021.png

1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Xavier Coates 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Tesi Niu 5. David Mead 6. Anthony Milford 7. Brodie Croft 8. Tevita Pangai Junior 9. Jake Turpin 10. Matthew Lodge 11. Alex Glenn 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan

Interchange: 14. John Asiata 15. Thomas Flegler 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. Ben Te'o

Reserves: 18. Tom Dearden 19. Rhys Kennedy 20. Richard Kennar 21. Cory Paix

PARRAMATTA-2021.png

1. Clinton Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Tom Opacic 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown

Interchange: 14. Oregon Kaufusi 15. Isaiah Papali'i 16. Keegan Hipgrave 17. Will Smith

Reserves:
18. Haze Dunster 19. Joey Lussick 20. Jordan Rankin 21. David Hollis
 

Big Pete

Referee
Messages
28,355
On paper this should be a no contest but Round 1 has tossed up some interesting results in the past. For the Broncos it's less about the result and more about the performance. Last year they were just out of their depth and it became sad to watch. Since they didn't make too many changes, it will just come down to whether they learned their lessons and can actually improve on the performances they dished up under Seibs.

The big selection of the week was Brodie Croft > Tom Dearden. Dearden is considered the future of the club but he's struggled to make an impact in first grade and the club is looking for him to get reps in the lower grades. It makes sense, it's just that Brodie Croft went off the rails horrendously in 2020 after Seibs tried to make him into a captain. It seems like a move from Kev to instill some confidence in Brodie and give him an opportunity.

I was surprised to see Ethan Bullemor selected. He was one of the stand-outs in the Broncos opening trials, but was dropped the following week and it appeared he'd start the season for the Devils. He's a good prospect who fits the mould of a current NRL prop forward, hopefully he can take his opportunity.

I'm just looking for a competitive effort. Last year they were completely out of their depth and it just became sad to watch a bunch of kids and has beens get flogged week after week because the management team completely screwed the pooch. I don't think they have the cattle to make too many waves, but they can set a standard, improve on it and rebuild themselves slowly but surely.
 

Nerd

Bench
Messages
2,729
Much better than last year but that wouldn't be difficult. Both halves went missing in the second half when they should of been directing play instead of letting the forwards take one out run after one out run. Croft was ok but bombed a certain try when he should have just pinned his ears back and to be fair it was Milford's first game and with no trial he was probably gassed.

3 injuries in our first game is a worry especially losing a prop with Haas still a few weeks away.

Our defence seemed a lot tighter with Turpin having a blinder.

Looking on the bright side if we can play like that most weeks we should win a few more than last year.
 

Big Pete

Referee
Messages
28,355
Brisbane put themselves in a position to win it but they just couldn't take their opportunities when they were there. Niu off a grubber kick, Farnworth off an intercept and then off of Milford's long line-break Croft couldn't link up with Turpin.

At 16-0 they should have gone on with it, even with their injury toll. The forwards just got out-muscled (both the Eels opening tries were off the back of their middles) and they struggled to work the ball out of trouble. I believe they made five errors inside their own half in that second half which just gave the Eels ample opportunity.

It just feels like they laid it all on the line in the first half and even after giving it their best shot they still fell short. I think Mead's effort summed it up, I didn't think he was capable of that performance and yet he still played a big hand in the Eels opening two tries.
 

Big Pete

Referee
Messages
28,355
While it was a disappointing loss, I'm glad we actually got to see them play some footy. Things were so dire in Brisbane last year the few highlights they had typically came from heart-breaking losses (eg vs. Manly, vs. Cronulla, vs. St George Illawarra). Like you said Nerd, at least it wasn't like Round 3 last year where it was virtually a Parramatta Eels training session.

I liked the shapes Brisbane played with. I remember Kev had Milf play right side in the 2018 Origin decider so he obviously thinks he's more suited there. I can't say I blame him either, the kick and pass he put together for Coates was spot on and the type of plays we've wanted to see from Milf since the beginning. I liked that Kev had him playing more like a traditional 6 as well and popping up across the field. I hope as the season wears on, he can start running inside plays off of Asiata and really start taking teams on through the ruck.

The backs certainly looked more potent than I expected. I hope Mead actually builds on his performance from Round 1 instead of going back into his shell like he did in 2017 when he helped blitz the Roosters and played nowhere near that level again all season. Farnworth had his best game in the centres and linked well while Coates was getting far more opportunities than he was the year prior.

If the Broncos can continue to play positive expansive footy they can make up for a lot of their shortcomings. I just hope they get away from their obsession with the middle third. I thought Riki's game suffered somewhat in the second half because Milf kept having him come back on the inside. He should have been running straight through Moses, it's something I hope he works on.

To be fair, I thought this was an improvement over their trial performance even if the result ended up the same. Milford, Farnworth and Bullemor all brought something to the team and with Haas & Staggs to come in and room for two more signings they maybe able to get themselves out of the funk.

As it stands though, it's the 12th loss in a row.
 
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