By Brady Foray Writers
Sometimes having too many stars in your team can become too much. Just ask Anthony Griffin, the coach of the Brisbane Broncos. The last couple of years the Broncos have followed a similar formula: start out with all guns blazing and when it comes to crunch time the team outwardly falters, doing just enough to make the top eight and be eliminated within the first week. 2012 was no different. By the time Justin Hodges, Matt Gillett, Ben Hannant, Corey Parker and captain Sam Thaiday were done with their Origin duties (alongside the recently departed Petero Civoniceva and Ben Te’o), the club lost all momentum, winning only three of their last twelve games.
While the major losses of Civoniceva, Te’o and utility back Gerard Beale are sure to shake the club, the signings of returning Broncos Scott Prince and David Stagg will only prove a positive for the Broncos. In the representative arena it is highly likely the Broncos will follow a similar path they have been leading for quite some time. Except this time, expect the Broncos to miss the top eight for only the fifth time in their 26-year history.
Signings: Joe Bond (Redcliffe), Jake Granville (Wynnum-Manly Seagulls), Scott Prince (Titans), David Stagg (Bulldogs), Denan Kemp (Dragons)
Departures: Gerard Beale (Dragons), Petero Civoniceva (Retired), Ben Te’o (Rabbitohs), Dane Gagai (Knights, mid-season), Lagi Setu (Melbourne), Mitchell Frei (Knights), Jacob Gagai (Knights)
Key to Success:
Unlike our good friend Eddy below, Scott Prince is the undeniable key to success for the Broncos in 2013. While he will knock the underdeveloped Corey Norman and Ben Hunt down the pecking order at the club, Prince’s experience and guidance will only make them better players. Prince (pictured left) was one of the only shining lights of the Titans’ campaign in 2012. The former Origin and Australian representative will bring leadership to the Broncos this year, something they lacked in 2012 without Darren Lockyer. If Prince clicks, the Broncos click.
Player to Watch:
With Dale Copley ruled out for the rest of season due to an unfortunate leg injury and Jharal Yow Yeh being an unknown entity for the upcoming season due to his injury mishaps, the stage has been set for 20-year-old Lachlan Maranta to show his worth. Maranta, the inaugural fullback in the first ever Queensland Under 20’s State of Origin team, managed to play seven games of first grade last season.
Erratic Eddy says:
“Eddy cannot believe the Broncos signed over-the-hill halfback Scott Prince, it truly is one step backwards for the Broncos. The whole point of Lockyer retiring was to further develop Corey Norman and Ben Hunt as the future playmakers of the club. Now Norman has seen the light and is off to the Eels in 2014.”
“Corey Parker, fantasy team certainty.”
“Expect Mr. Hodges to shift to fullback at some point during the season. He isn’t seeing enough ball as it stands. Expect an Inglis-esque impact.”
Strongest 17: 1- Corey Norman 2- Josh Hoffman 3-Jack Reed 4- Justin Hodges 5- Jharal Yow Yeh 6- Peter Wallace 7- Scott Prince 8- Ben Hannant 9- Andrew McCullough 10- Josh McGuire 11- Sam Thaiday (C) 12- Alex Glenn 13- Corey Parker. Interchange: 14- Ben Hunt 15- Matt Gillett 16- Mitchell Dodds 17- David Stagg. 18th Man: Ben Hunt.
Predicted Position: 10th