Once upon a time the Brisbane Broncos were considered in the same league as the Melbourne Storm of the NRL.
If there was a finals series, the Broncos were in it – and usually gave the title a shake.
Those days are long gone.
As Paul Kent says, “The Broncos DNA, the glory days, it’s dead”.
They got knocked down after their 58-0 thrashing at the hands of the Eels in 2019 in the first week of the finals and haven’t got up since.
Since COVID-19 turned the world upside down, the Broncos have only held an opposition to less than 20 points on five occasions.
As Kent said on Fox Sports’ NRL 360, “they’ve got no resilience in defence,” having conceded 52 against the Dragons in round 13.
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On the back of their 28 points defeat to the Dragons, Kent said the Broncos have been given a reality check of where exactly they are in the pecking order.
“The worst thing the Broncos can now do is to still consider themselves a powerhouse of the competition,” he said.
“They have a commercial advantage of being in such a big city by themselves, but other than that, that DNA, that winning culture, that is so important at clubs, it does not exist anymore.
“There was a hope you bring back Kevvie Walters with all the old boys it would reignite, it hasn’t happened. They are so far removed from that.
“The ability of the Broncos to surrender, it just gets bigger.”
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The Daily Telegraph’s chief sports writer Phil Rothfield added the Broncos’ problems wouldn’t be turned around by announcing Dave Donaghy as their new CEO.
“I think their board thought by signing Dave Donaghy, they’re signing the Melbourne Storm way of recruitment and retention,” Rothfield said on NRL 360.
“This does not work because the recruitment and retention of Melbourne was not about Dave Donaghy, it was about Frank Ponissi, it was about Craig Bellamy. They are the people who hired and fired.
“A CEO isn’t going to change their ability to attract players.”
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For the first time in their history, the Broncos collected the unwanted wooden spoon in 2020.
It led to Anthony Seibold’s ugly departure from Red Hill.
Yet, the arrival of Kevin Walters hasn’t stemmed the bleeding, with the Broncos unable to build on the back of their upset win over the Roosters in Sydney late last month and second last on this year’s standings with just three victories.
Kent added: “Donaghy will hopefully bring an understanding of what Melbourne did and hope to apply that to Brisbane.
“But Brisbane is a three-four-five year rebuild.”
As reportedly by Fox League’s James Hooper, the Broncos are still in the market for the Raiders’ Josh Hodgson, while Dragons fullback Matt Duffy is also being spoken to.
But for Kent, the Broncos will only return to their former glories if they can show some backbone in defence.
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