Sport

Broncos learnt valuable lesson from Eels defeat

Josh McGuire says the Broncos have worked hard on defence.
Josh McGuire says the Broncos have worked hard on defence. DAVE HUNT

THE Broncos will get a good gauge of just how far they have come defensively in the past month when they host the Eels on Thursday night.

Parramatta was the last team to defeat Brisbane, in round 21, recording a comfortable 28-14 victory at ANZ Stadium.

The Broncos have responded with three successive wins while keeping their opponents - Gold Coast, Cronulla and St George Illawarra - to just 22 points.

Brisbane enforcer Josh McGuire said "it was definitely a lesson that we had to have at the right time of year".

"We needed to be better and I thought our attitude towards defence has been better in the last three weeks," he said.

Hooker Andrew McCullough went down with a season-ending knee injury in that game against the Eels.

But, now sitting second behind the Storm, the Broncos regrouped superbly.

"Everyone's doing their job in the middle of the park. Sammy (Thaiday) moving into the middle has helped us as well, having that extra big body giving us a hand early in the game to slow the ruck down a bit," McGuire said.

Forward Tevita Pangai Junior isn't expected to play due to a hamstring injury, but the Broncos are hopeful Jai Arrow (elbow) and Jordan Kahu (groin) will run out.

 

Kodi Nikorima during the Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill in Brisbane, Thursday, August 17, 2017. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING
Kodi Nikorima during the Brisbane Broncos training session at Red Hill in Brisbane, Thursday, August 17, 2017. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING DAVE HUNT

Kodi Nikorima faces a crucial halves battle with former Bronco Corey Norman.

The Broncos have won all 10 games with Nikorima starting at halfback this season.

But coach Wayne Bennett admitted the Kiwi was "off the pace" in last Friday's win against St George, failing to break a line.

"I don't think he was off the boil, I just think that Milly (Anthony Milford) was on fire and you can't have everyone firing at once I guess," McGuire said.

"I thought the week before Kodi was really good ... there's always one conductor and last week it was Milly."

Eels backrower Manu Ma'u has accepted a one-match ban for a shoulder charge on Gold Coast's Ashley Taylor and will miss the clash.

Topics:  brisbane broncos josh mcguire nrl2017 parramatta eels

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