Brisbane have arrived in London intent on maintaining their 100 per cent World Club Series record – but insist it is still no more than a glorified trial.
Respected coach Wayne Bennett raised eyebrows last year when he admitted he wasn’t worried about the result in the newly formed three-game series between NRL and Super League sides.
But the seven-time NRL premiership-winning mentor, and newly-minted England national coach, still managed to engineer a 14-12 golden point victory over a resilient Wigan in miserable conditions.
It was one of three wins for NRL sides as the southern hemisphere competition claimed the inaugural World Club Series in emphatic fashion.
A year on, the same sentiment lingers among the playing group which arrived in London on Thursday evening.
They were minus Bennett, Sam Thaiday and new recruit James Roberts, who are all involved in Saturday’s All Stars fixture.
All three will join the Broncos in England upon the completion of their All Stars duties.
Forwards Josh McGuire and Alex Glenn believe playing the clash against Super League opposition helped kick-start their campaign last season and played a role in steeling them for a grand final appearance.
And as much as Glenn remains determined to come away with another victory, he admits the bigger competition will be within the team as last year’s beaten grand finalists fight for spots in Bennett’s team for round one against Parramatta.
“We still see it as a trial. But in saying that both teams have a lot to play for, everyone’s fighting for positions,” Glenn told AAP.
“We’re all trying to make a mark to try and put our hands up for positions for the coach.
“Every time we get out there we always give 100 per cent. We’re competitive guys. It’s a big game. You’re playing a Super League team, but it’s still a trial.
“We know it’s not going to be an easy game and we’re not going to treat it like that.”
McGuire said the prospect of a fierce battle with Wigan, who they will face next weekend at DW Stadium for the second year in a row, will be beneficial for their pre-season.
“You want to get those good quality games out before the NRL season and there’s no higher quality than playing Wigan over here,” he said.
“We’re taking the game very seriously. This is definitely a great starting block for our 2016 campaign.
“But at the end of the day (the result is) not the end of the world.”