Bennett stumped by Broncos loss

Even master coach Wayne Bennett seemed stumped by Brisbane’s shock 31-12 NRL loss to Penrith at Suncorp Stadium.

But the Broncos mentor has refused to hit the panic button despite their top four hopes copping a dent.

Bennett could not explain why a flat Broncos’ ball control abandoned them on Friday night as they slumped to their sixth loss in eight games.

“We just turned up here and it didn’t happen,” he said after the five tries to two defeat.

“It’s about ball control and repeat sets.

“We usually have good ball control. I can’t tell you why it happens one night and not the other.”

Sixth placed Brisbane’s mistake riddled display ensured they had just 42 per cent possession, completing just 22 of 33 sets.

Suddenly a team that averaged a try every nine tackles in their opponent’s red zone did not know how to score.

“We have scored a lot of tries this year but because we didn’t build pressure we didn’t look like a team who could score a try,” Bennett said.

Brisbane have also conceded more than 30 points in three straight home games for the first time in the club’s history.

Asked if he was worried Brisbane may miss the NRL finals, captain Corey Parker said: “No, that is not even on the radar at the moment – it’s seven weeks away.”

Brisbane missed a chance to stay in touch with runaway pacesetters Cronulla and Melbourne.

But the Broncos have a good run into the finals, facing just two sides currently in the top eight – the Bulldogs and Melbourne.

Two of their remaining six games are against lowly Sydney Roosters.

They are set to welcome back Test backrower Matt Gillett (shoulder) next week.

But Bennett warned: “Matt won’t make a difference if we play like that”.

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