Jamayne Isaako struggles under the high ball. Image: Matt King/Getty Images
Jamayne Isaako struggles under the high ball. Image: Matt King/Getty Images

Broncos plan to avoid dropping bombs

DARIUS Boyd said the Broncos will work on their kick disposal routines this week after a second unhappy week heaped pressure on their vulnerable defence.

Jamayne Isaako and Corey Oates both dropped one bomb and Isaako was also driven into touch in his own 20m area as Brisbane conceded three tries to kicks in their 36-4 loss to the Sydney Roosters last Thursday.

Boyd said his team had been ranked third for kick disposals in the preceding three weeks of the season.

He said the Broncos had time to iron out their responses to the kicks barrage to come from Wests Tigers on Thursday night in which the Broncos captain himself will look to improve his performance.

 

Isaako, the NRL Dally M rookie of 2018, made two bad handling blunders a week earlier in the loss to St George Illawarra and has looked less assured under the high ball, which is something Tigers kickers will no doubt test out.

"It is something we can review,'' Boyd said.

"It's something we pride ourselves on as a back five (including centres and wingers).

"You don't throw the baby out with the bath water in one week. We did game plan for (Daniel) Tupou, but he is a quality guy in the air and it didn't work out.''

Boyd knows his defence will be under scrutiny from now on. Image: AAP/David Clark
Boyd knows his defence will be under scrutiny from now on. Image: AAP/David Clark

A central selection philosophy of Broncos coach Anthony Seibold will be tested against the fire of poor results when he announces a team to play the Tigers.

Seibold said in the pre-season that his preference is to always have one interchange back rather than four forwards off the bench.

With Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan to come into the Brisbane 17-man squad deprived of the suspended Tevita Pangai Jnr, Seibold can drop a utility back, Gehamat Shibasaki, or a forward.

Kotoni Staggs will be selected at right centre again when the teams are named and is well regarded enough to keep an available James Roberts out of the starting team later in the month if he continues to play well there.

While Roberts would be a bench option if Staggs is retained, Broncos insiders say they would not be surprised if Seibold brought the NSW Origin centre back through the Intrust Super Cup when he had overcome an Achilles injury.

Patrick Carrigan is set to be named for his NRL debut. Picture: AAP
Patrick Carrigan is set to be named for his NRL debut. Picture: AAP

It would give him more minutes than he would otherwise likely get as an NRL interchange man.

Boyd said the Broncos had been 2-3 last year and finished the season one win behind the minor premiers.

"We win this week and we have the same win-loss exactly,'' he said.

"It's no time to panic - we were out-enthused the last two weeks and we just need to get back to play well.''

Boyd said that far from seeing the Tigers match as a chance to re-establish the Broncos in the eyes of fans and rivals alike, it was more a chance to play at a consistent level.

"It's disappointing we are not playing to our potential,'' he said.