Broncos look to up NRL tempo

Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough says clean and quick use of the ball is vital for the Broncos as they prepare to face three of the NRL’s biggest forward packs before the finals.

The Broncos host fourth-placed Canterbury on Thursday night at Suncorp Stadium, before clashes with the Melbourne Storm (away) and Sydney Roosters (home) in a tough schedule to round out the regular season.

McCullough believes the Broncos can get through it and generate some pre-finals momentum, provided they can increase their ruck speed and iron out the sort of mistakes that have marked their topsy-turvy 2016 campaign so far.

“Turn over cheap ball or a knock-on within your own half and that just gives them so much energy and belief,” McCullough told reporters.

“With those big boys, that’s all they need.

“We’ve got a gameplan where we’re going to need to make sure we really improve in certain areas and (one of those) is certainly hanging onto the ball.

“It’s definitely going to be up to us within the middle of the field.”

The Broncos have struggled to contain bigger sides this season and suffered what many players have described as their most embarrassing defeat of the year to the Bulldogs nearly two months ago, losing 40-14 at ANZ Stadium.

“We pride ourselves on our defence and that game I reckon was our worst this year in defence, in that second half,” winger Corey Oates said.

McCullough didn’t play in that match due to injury but said he “knew the mindset” of the players and understood where they had erred.

“The boys spoke after the game about what went wrong and how we can adjust our style of play against a big forward pack like that,” he said.

“We’ve trained it, we’ve just got to use it on Thursday night.”

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