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Bennett reminds Broncos of NRL slump

No one at Brisbane had to be reminded of how far the once mighty NRL club had fallen following their 26-18 loss to Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium.
Bennett reminds Broncos of NRL slump
by AAP

By Laine Clark

BRISBANE, Aug 31 AAP - No one at Brisbane had to be reminded of how far the once mighty NRL club had fallen following their 26-18 loss to Newcastle at Suncorp Stadium.

Especially after the humbling defeat ensured the six-time premiers would register the worst season in their history.

Still, former coach Wayne Bennett - of all people - cheekily provided a refresher course after watching his Knights bounce back from 14-0 down to knock his once-beloved Broncos out of the finals race on Friday night.

"I'm disappointed for them. You just have to recognise what you have done wrong," Bennett said of Brisbane who will miss the finals for just the second time in 21 years.

"For a long time here, (Brisbane) we prided ourselves on scraping into the finals.

"It was part of our being. To realise you might not be in the top four one year but you are never far off.

"We always found a way to get there ... but I don't know about the current crop (of Broncos)."

With a glint in his eye, Bennett added: "I'm just talking a little bit about the past."

Despite seventh-placed Newcastle losing playmaker Kurt Gidley (ankle) in the 48th minute, Brisbane conceded four second-half tries to slump to a 9-1-13 (win-draw-loss) record for 2013 with one game left - a challenging clash with Canterbury.

It ensured they would register their worst regular-season tally.

The previous mark had been set in 2010 (11-10 win-loss), costing coach Ivan Henjak his job.

He was replaced by Anthony Griffin who promptly took a Darren Lockyer-skippered Brisbane to the 2011 preliminary final.

He quickly crashed back to earth.

They scraped into the 2012 playoffs (12-12 record) and their second straight loss on Friday night ensured Griffin will watch September finals action on TV for the first time during his tenure.

Told about his Brisbane side earning the unwanted "worst season" title, Griffin did his best poker-faced Bennett impression.

"It is what it is. You've got to look at it square in the face and build off it," he said.

"Unfortunately, we are just not there at the moment.

"There is no one more disappointed than us but we certainly won't waste it (lessons learned this year)."

Griffin did not want to make any excuses but he could offer plenty on Friday night.

After yet another backline reshuffle caused by the injury loss of winger Jordan Kahu (quad), Brisbane watched the tide turn in the second half when skipper Sam Thaiday was dubiously sin-binned for a tackle infringement.

Gidley crashed over moments later to cut the deficit to 14-12.

He limped off but Newcastle found their legs to all but seal a finals nod.

Bennett said he would not know the extent of Gidley's injury until Monday but added: "It is obviously serious".


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