NEWS Broncos target Eels upset after Sharks favour

McHunt

NRL Player
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Sunshine Coast
NRL finals series:
Brisbane ready for tough Parramatta test
after sneaking into top eight


Peter Badel,
The Courier-Mail
September 8, 2019 7:38pm


huge sigh of relief

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold insists his posse of young guns will not be overawed by the sudden-death stage after the Broncos breathed a huge sigh of relief by sneaking into the NRL finals. Rugby league’s fickle football gods smiled on the Broncos after the Sharks disposed of the Wests Tigers 25-8 at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday to officially seal Brisbane’s sixth consecutive finals appearance. In his first season in charge at Red Hill, Seibold earns an instant pass mark with a playoffs campaign and now the Broncos coach will set his sights on Parramatta – ironically the club he supported as a teenager.

Brisbane have a lifeline thanks to the Sharks win over the Tigers.

Brisbane have a lifeline thanks to the Sharks win over the Tigers.


lost control

The Broncos lost control of their finals destiny with Saturday night’s 30-14 loss to Canterbury, but Cronulla’s win left Brisbane in eighth spot, setting up an elimination final with the fifth-placed Eels next Sunday at Bankwest Stadium.

worried man

An unlikely Tigers-Sharks draw on Sunday would have sent Brisbane crashing out of the top eight. Seibold watched the clash with assistant Peter Gentle and was a worried man when Cronulla led just 6-4 at half-time, but the Sharks’ second-half surge allowed the Broncos coach to salute his side’s late-season fightback to play finals. “We’ve made it, I’m really proud of the group,” Seibold said. “I was a bit nervous in the first half (of the Tigers-Sharks game), but I was confident Cronulla could get home and their class showed in the second half, which was a good result for us.

Payne Haas will have a big role to play for the Broncos against the Eels.

Payne Haas will have a big role to play for the Broncos against the Eels.


satisfied

“It’s nice to be in the finals and I feel we have got what we deserved. “I’m satisfied that we have made it for the next stage of the competition, I would have liked for us to be higher up, but I’m proud of our effort considering we were 14th at one stage. “I was disappointed with our performance against the Bulldogs but we need to move on to our next job which is playing Parramatta on their turf.”

Broncos Press Conference


statistically mediocre season

Statistically, it has been a mediocre season for the Broncos. They enter the playoffs with a losing record (11-12-1) and are the only team in the top eight with a negative points differential (-57). The Broncos face a daunting first-up assignment. The Eels have won eight of 10 home games at their new $360 million Bankwest Stadium, including a 38-10 drubbing of the Broncos in round 14 in one of Brisbane’s worst performances of the season. Brisbane famously revived their season in round 16 when a Baby Broncos side, featuring 10 rookies, stunned the Sharks 24-22 in Sydney and Seibold backed his young brigade to inspire an Eels boilover.

Thomas Flegler and Rhys Kennedy will have their hadns full against the Eels.

Thomas Flegler and Rhys Kennedy will have their hadns full against the Eels.


vindication for Seibold

Five Broncos – Payne Haas, Pat Carrigan, Jake Turpin, Rhys Kennedy and Tom Flegler – will make their finals debut at Bankwest. “We will have a lot of young guys playing in their first finals game, Haas, Flegler, Carrigan, Kennedy … the list goes on,” Seibold said. “A lot of our squad haven’t been in this arena so the big thing for them is to have a good preparation and handle the pressure. “Parramatta will be favourites, no doubt, but I expect a better performance from Saturday night and if we produce our best game, we will challenge them.” Brisbane’s finals campaign is a vindication of sorts for Seibold, who has blooded eight debutants this season under his Red Hill youth policy. “It’s been a really challenging year.

written off

There’s been some good days and some ordinary days,” he said. “We were written off after eight weeks when Souths beat us (38-6) so to fight back and make the playoffs, it’s a good reward for the guys … they have been really diligent.”

 
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