I get it, it's just football. But Friday night was tough to swallow for Broncos fans.
10 minutes to go, an 8 point lead and a repeat set, you'd be forgiven for thinking that your in the driver's seat, right? Wrong. The Sharks rattle off 3 tries in 10 minutes and break the hearts and destroy the souls of the Brisbane faithful.
But I am going to keep the tone of this article positive.
What did we like from the Broncos 70 minute performance? There's plenty of good stuff.
I'll be the first to admit that I have been critical of Darius Boyd this season, in fact, the last couple of seasons. But as Fatty Vautin mentioned in the telecast on Friday night, he's looked lost in the centres for the past 3 months. Boyd managed to recapture some of his best form on Friday night, providing a good link man in attack for a couple of last pass tries. That's his go, let's leave him there yeah Seibo?
Broncos fans, that hurts.
Kotoni Staggs, wow. Star on the rise. Looked as if he was going to put the Broncos on his big shoulders and carry them home. It wasn't to be, but 2 tries and some wonderful efforts defensively to cause a couple of turnovers get you excited for the future ahead of that young man.
I like Herbie Farnworth, he'll be very good in a few years, but what about the stride on Xavier Coates? I love watching him with ball in hand, he too is an exciting prospect that Broncos fans can grow up with for many years to come.
The halves. Hmmm, not sure. Looked lost early on in the game and lacked direction. Milford turned in a better performance than what he'd previously been offering, spectacularly standing up poor old Aaron Woods to create a great try down the left side in the second half, the Broncos looked like the team of old. Tom Dearden, not sure, jury is out, but let's stick with him for now.
The forward pack was good to my eye. Jake Turpin crafty out of dummy half and throw in 44 tackles while the engine room in Haas, Pangai Junior and Carrigan carried brilliantly, amassing 288 post contact metres between them. Whilst those blokes did well to hold their feet and get a couple of offloads away, I am not sure the Broncos had the right support around them to capitalise on the opportunities. Whenever the Broncos forwards would bend the line or keep their feet and work laterally, there was no one for the Broncos looking to run a line and straighten the attack.
To me, that's an Anthony Milford role but he's seemingly tied down by the structure of playing at five-eight. Milford needs a greater license to roam and pop up off his forwards when they get their shoulders through the line. Think Jarryd Hayne tearing up the middle when the Hayne Plane was in full flight, that's the Milford role in my eye. Maybe Darius has stuffed up that thought by playing well!?
Ethan Bullemor off the bench, big future. One to watch. Is he sticking around? Ben Te'o, presume he brings experience and leadership but might be past his best to be fair.
All in all, the Broncos deserved to win, but as coach Seibold said in his post-match press conference, NRL games are 80 mins, not 70 mins. The week before they probably got to about the 35 minute before that wily old fox Cameron Smith started causing real headaches.
The Broncos are improving, next week they'll get David Fifita back and Seibold has also prefaced a few other changes. Finals might be gone this year, but there's still plenty to learn and experience in 2020 for this young playing group.