I reckon Friday night’s season opener against the Parramatta Eels will be the Broncos’ most important game at Suncorp Stadium since the club’s first-ever game in 1988...
Coached by Wayne Bennett and captained by Wally Lewis, the competition newcomers thumped reigning premiers Manly 44-10 that afternoon, setting the standard that would see them win the first of their six premierships just four years later.
It is a very different Broncos outfit that will run out for their opening game of the 2021 season. First-time coach Kevin Walters doesn’t have any players the calibre of Allan Langer, Gene Miles, Greg Dowling or King Wally, and his team isn’t being celebrated as the best thing to happen to Brisbane since the Story Bridge. They are coming off their worst-ever season, their best two players, Kotoni Staggs and Payne Haas are on the sideline through injury and suspension, and many are tipping them to ‘win’ back-to-back wooden spoons.
Kevvie and his players will no doubt have something to say about that, and the Broncos true supporters will be backing them all the way.
Given the disappointments of last year, even their most loyal fans won’t be expecting the Broncos to win the premiership. All they want is to see a cohesive and committed team giving 100 percent effort every week – starting on Friday night.
For the first time in the club’s history, there is only one way they can go this season, and that is up.
Much has been written and said about the Broncos’ ‘culture’ over the past 12 months. I reckon if anyone can instil pride and performance back into the team and show them what it really means to be a Brisbane Bronco, it is Kevin Walters.
What do YOU reckon?