After an enthralling grand final thriller at Suncorp Stadium, Broncos NRL Team Brisbane and Penrith clashed in another fierce rivalry match. Both sides were impacted by injuries – Broncos playmaker Adam Reynolds suffering a groin injury and Penrith No 6 Jarome Luai a shoulder injury.
Brisbane’s year started with a win but quickly turned sour due to their poor form post-Origin. A mid-season revival saw them finish in 3rd place and advance to a Preliminary Final.
The Broncos have won an impressive 18 premierships over the last 28 years, but it’s not all been plain sailing. They have experienced a fair share of controversy, especially in the off-season.
The club was founded in 1988, and the inaugural season saw them compete in the NSWRL’s Winfield Cup competition. The Broncos made a winning start, finishing the regular season in 2nd place and qualifying for their first finals series.
They began the next season by beating the Penrith Panthers 50 nil, but struggled to maintain that level of form throughout the year. They also lost their star player, Tame Tupou, to England in round 7, which was a big blow to the club’s hopes of reaching the top four.
However, the Broncos were able to turn things around and finish the season strongly, winning their final 4 games to finish in 2nd position once again.
In the lead-up to the finals, they signed a number of key players including Kevin Walters, Wally Lewis, and Gene Miles. They also re-signed Broncos captain and former Australia international, Darren Lockyer.
Despite some injury concerns, the Broncos entered the finals series in good form and were able to overcome the Sydney Roosters in a close Semi-Final, before losing to the minor premiers, the Cronulla Sharks, in a Preliminary Final.
It was during this period that the Broncos began to experience what became known as their “Post-Origin Slump”, a string of defeats after Origin that would see them drop down the ladder and disappoint in finals time. The loss of Corey Parker and Dale Finucane to the Blues was a huge blow, and was only partly offset by the additions of new signings such as Ben Hannant and Darius Boyd.
Despite some injury problems leading up to Origin II, the Broncos were able to regain their winning ways and ended the season in 2nd place once again. They had to overcome some serious injury concerns to do this, with the likes of Karmichael Hunt, Corey Jensen, Cameron Munster and Darren Lockyer all ruled out for large portions of the campaign. They were also without the services of regular starting centre, Corey Norman for much of the year due to a knee injury. However, they were able to add depth to their squad with the additions of Jeremy Smith from the Roosters, Ryan James from the Raiders, and Kurt Capewell from the Panthers, with the young guns such as AJ Brimson, Jaydn Su’A, and Brenko Lee making important contributions off the bench.