Their State of Origin stars may have finally returned but ladder leaders Brisbane’s Andrew McCullough has hailed their support cast ahead of Sunday’s NRL clash with Wests Tigers.
The Broncos are perfectly placed for the run to the NRL finals after welcoming back their Queensland contingent.
McCullough has saluted the less heralded teammates who helped steer Brisbane out of the Origin period and to the top of the ladder with six straight wins.
Captain Justin Hodges missed all three post-Origin matches while key forwards Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker were rested for two.
“I wouldn’t say we were surprised (by their Origin period success) … but it is full credit to our whole squad,” he said.
“Anyone who has pulled on the jersey has done their job and done their part.
“That’s showing at the moment certainly in the way we are playing for each other.
“It is more so the fact that if (coach) Wayne (Bennett) has had to rest someone, then someone is able to come in and do the job.
“When Wayne has had the confidence to put them in, they have come in and the momentum has kept going.”
Brisbane will be quietly confident of making it win No.7 straight against the lowly Wests Tigers, who are expected to be without NSW hooker Robbie Farah (hand).
“We’ve seen a lot of teams in the past be dominant all year and fall away in the finals,” McCullough said.
“We are not getting ahead of ourselves and Wayne (Bennett) is not letting us do that.”
Bennett’s only complaint has been losing Queensland forward Josh McGuire (Achilles), opening the door for bench regular Jarrod Wallace to stake a starting 13 claim.
“He is a strength for us, we will miss him,” Wallace said of McGuire.
“But everyone (in the pack) not just me have to pick things up (in his absence).”