Brisbane’s NRL premiership campaign isn’t over yet, coach Wayne Bennett insists, but he knows the slump-hit Broncos have precious little time to turn things around.
The Broncos crashed to their seventh loss in nine games to Sydney Roosters on Thursday night, after a flying start to the season that had many pencilling them in for their second successive grand final appearance.
Brisbane have hit the wall, no doubt. But with five regular season games remaining supercoach Bennett believe they can still find some momentum heading into September.
“At the moment we are not thinking about premiership hopes and we are not thinking about finishing in the top four,” Bennett said of his sixth-placed side, who will still be in the top eight at the end of round 21 regardless of other results.
“We just have to get our game back together and if we can get our game back together the finals series is about momentum.
“We still have five games to go if we can get some momentum in the next two to three weeks after that.
“Melbourne showed that last year. They were struggling with three or four games to go (to the finals) all of a sudden they got some momentum. They beat us in Brisbane then they came and beat the Roosters in the first play-off game. The Cowboys got some momentum late in the season (last year also).”
Brisbane pointed to the absence of rep stars Josh McGuire, Sam Thaiday (both suspended) and Matt Gillett (shoulder injury) for their lacklustre showing against the Roosters. The trio will all return for Thursday’s clash with St George Illawarra in Wollongong.
The losing streak indicates deep problems at Red Hill, but Bennett wasn’t keen on talking on those.
“I can put my finger on it, but you don’t have enough time to hear it,” he said.
“It is what it is.”