Brisbane will be bundled out of the NRL finals if they continue to offer their opposition a head start like they have in their past two matches.
That’s the blunt assessment of Broncos backrower Sam Thaiday after his side overcame a gritty and determined Gold Coast Titans outfit 44-28 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Despite running away with a 16-point victory in the first elimination final, the Broncos conceded the first points in a match for the second week running.
Brisbane trailed 12-0 against the struggling Roosters in Round 26, eventually overcoming the plucky chooks 24-14, while they also conceded first points against the Titans, after only three minutes.
With a week two finals match-up pencilled in against the Storm or Cowboys, Thaiday believes the Broncos will not progress beyond next week if they start that match in the same manner they did against the Titans.
“If we play like we did in the first half we’ll be way off the standards that we’ve set ourselves this year and the Storm or the Cowboys will be way too good for us,” Thaiday said.
“There are a couple of areas we need to fix and we’ll sit back over the weekend and see who we play.
“If we can’t get up to play Melbourne Storm or the Cowboys we don’t deserve to be in the semi-finals, so I’m sure we’ll flick a switch at training this week and prepare right and get ready for next weekend.”
Since a good start against Melbourne in round 24, where they led 14-4 at halftime, the Broncos have relied on finishing strongly in their past two matches.
It’s a trend that needs to be bucked immediately according to 253-game veteran Thaiday.
“We’re getting jumped at the start of matches and we need to show a lot more energy and enthusiasm and not wait for a second-half run,” he said.
“The later and deeper we go in the semi-finals will make it harder for us to come back from slow starts.”
Trailing by two points at halftime against the Titans, Brisbane scored five-tries-to-two in the second half in front of 43,170 fans who braved the wet conditions.