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Misfiring Broncos shut up shop

Having dominated the Sydney Roosters for no reward on Saturday night, there was little mood to talk from the Brisbane Broncos after the Allianz Stadium NRL encounter.
Misfiring Broncos shut up shop
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, March 23 AAP - Having dominated the Sydney Roosters for no reward on Saturday night, there was little mood to talk from the Brisbane Broncos after the Allianz Stadium NRL encounter.

The Roosters produced one of the most heroic defensive performances seen from a side in many years to eke out an 8-0 win, despite spending the majority of the second half camped inside their own 20-metre line.

At one stage the Broncos had six successive sets, but still failed to find a way to past the resilient Roosters.

With the brilliant but increasingly brittle Queensland Origin centre Justin Hodges sidelined once again with a hamstring injury, the Broncos' lack of strikepower was laid bare.

Workaholic back-rower David Stagg was deployed as a makeshift centre, putting extra creative pressure on halves pairing Peter Wallace and Scott Prince.

And the pair failed to deliver, despite the Roosters making an astonishing 417 tackles - 133 more than their opponents in a truly Herculean performance.

More tellingly the Broncos didn't make a single line-break and the race will be on to get Hodges fit for next week's clash with premiers Melbourne in the first of three tough matches.

After the Storm visit Suncorp Stadium, in-form Gold Coast host the Broncos before a star-studded North Queensland side come to town.

Losing to Melbourne would be a third defeat in the first four games for the Queensland giants, replicating the start to the 2010 campaign under Ivan Henjak, who later paid the price for missing the finals with the sack.

There was little inclination to explain what went wrong against the Roosters after the game.

Griffin's press conference lasted just 90 seconds and he refused to blame his misfiring side, preferring instead to praise the Roosters.

"We had our chances and the Roosters were good enough to turn up and I thought we turned up all night on them as well," Griffin said.

"It's just one of those games and it was always going to be one of those games - a real slugfest. They got that one try which was the difference.

"We had our chances, we got held up a couple of times and got the ball knocked down when (Josh) Hoffman would have scored."

Attempts to speak to Broncos players in the sheds were denied by the club's media manager, which is likely to see the fine imposed for a breach of the NRL's media guidelines.




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