Issac Luke of the Warriors is tackled by Korbin Sims, left, and Alexander Glenn of the Broncos
Issac Luke of the Warriors is tackled by Korbin Sims, left, and Alexander Glenn of the Broncos DAVID ROWLAND

Broncos slump to typical Origin-period defeat

THE Broncos have endured yet another disappointing start to an Origin period, after they slumped to their biggest loss of the season.

In a tale as old as time for the Broncos, they came off second best against the Warriors in their first game of the year where they were affected by Origin, going down 28-10 in Auckland.

With six of their regular first-graders lost to the Queensland side, and Andrew McCullough ruled out with a concussion, the Broncos failed to extend their recent six-game winning streak.

The fact they had to play the Warriors - who had just one player missing to Origin in Jacob Lillyman - in New Zealand certainly did not help.

But even without seven of their star players, the Broncos still had plenty of experience in that side to come back across the ditch with the two points, including five Kiwi internationals.

Warriors congratulate Ken Maumalo on scoring a try
Warriors congratulate Ken Maumalo on scoring a try DAVID ROWLAND

Coach Wayne Bennett said after the match that the team had no excuses for the loss, except that they didn't meet the expectations they had placed on themselves.

"We didn't obviously play as well as we thought we could,” he said.

"We didn't come here looking for excuses. We came here with a footy team that we thought could play well. We haven't done that.

"It's not about who we haven't got. Broncos haven't built their reputation on that stuff. It's a tough time for us ... it's going to go on for two months now. We have to be better than we were.

"We have been in this situation for 31 years. No one has provided more players than the Broncos to State of Origin. No one knows the impact it has on the club better than I do.

"We've never used it as an excuse, we're not now.”

Brisbane was left shell-shocked from the 11th minute when Shaun Johnson fired into action for the Warriors, getting past James Roberts to put Blake Ayshford over the line.

From here the pain just kept on coming, as the Warriors rolled out another two tries before halftime and scored another four-pointer just three minutes after the break.

The Broncos tried to come back into the game, claiming two tries for James Roberts off the back of some Benji Marshall and Ben Hunt magic, but it was simply too late.

Former Brisbane forward James Gavet sealed the deal with 14 minutes left on the clock, as he crashed over the line for the Warriors to end the Broncos' night.

Korbin Sims of the Broncos tackles Ben Matulino of the Warriors
Korbin Sims of the Broncos tackles Ben Matulino of the Warriors DAVID ROWLAND

Despite the return of Hunt from a hamstring injury, Brisbane looked a little lost at times and struggled with their discipline, going into halftime with a 64 per cent completion rate, seven errors and 18 missed tackles.

Jordan Kahu tried his best in the No. 1 jersey, but Darius Boyd's experience and control in attack was greatly missed while McCullough's defensive work rate was also hard to replace.

While McCullough should be a certainty to make a comeback in next Saturday's clash with the Roosters, it is unclear yet just how many of the Origin stars will back up from Game One on Wednesday.

Brisbane will certainly be hoping to get as many into the side as possible to avoid a repeat of last year's crippling Origin hangover in which the club fell out of the top four and won just two of nine games between Rounds 11 and 21.

One of those games included a massive 36-18 loss to the Warriors in Auckland, when the Broncos had most of their Origin players but were once again without McCullough due to injury.

NZ WARRIORS 28 (B Ayshford J Gavet S Johnson K Maumalo R Tuivasa-Sheck tries S Johnson 4 goals) bt BRISBANE 10 (J Roberts 2 tries J Kahu goal) at Mt Smart Stadium. Referee: Gavin Reynolds, Adam Gee.


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Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

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Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

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