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Preview 2012: Brisbane Broncos
Once again the NRL season is quickly approaching. What will season 2012 have in store for your club? Will they exceed the expectations laid upon them or will they simply be not good enough? Join NRL Weekly as we preview every club in the lead up to the new NRL season and share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. NRL Weekly provides detailed analysis of every aspect of the game and every week throughout 2012 we will be bringing you exclusive content and news that you will not get anywhere else! Stay tuned for an exciting 2012!
Gains: Luke Capewell (Titans), Petero Civoniceva (Panthers), Nick Slyney (Redcliffe).
Losses: Darren Lockyer (Retirement), Denan Kemp (Rugby Union), Shane Tronc (Retirement), Shea Moylan (Storm), Rohan Ahern (Mackay), Nick Kenny (Retirement).
Re-signed: Corey Parker, Justin Hodges, Dale Copley, Dunamis Lui, Kurt Baptiste, Scott Anderson, Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire, Josh Hoffman.
2012 Coach: Anthony Griffin
First 5 Rounds: Eels (A), Cowboys (H), Knights (A), Rabbitohs (A), Dragons (H)
The one thing that stands out the most this year for the Brisbane Broncos is the gaping hole left behind by the absence of Darren Lockyer. Lockyer is considered by many people within the game as one of the most influential players of the modern era. There is no doubt that this loss will have some effect on his Brisbane teammates however, it is yet to be determined how big of a loss he will be. The 2012 season will show us how well the Broncos are able to adapt in the first year without their key playmaker and this will present some interesting challenges to the coach. 2012 will be a year of re-discovery for the Broncos and coach Anthony Griffin may well be experiencing some head aches come the mid-point of the season if he is unable to formulate results as seen under the Lockyer era.
Lockyer’s retirement should not present a massive problem for the Broncos, as the talent available in the Queensland ranks is nothing short of amazing. The Broncos always manage to conjure talented young players out of thin air who are then able to perform at the highest level. 2012 will also present another challenge for Anthony Griffin as it is now the second year after coach Ivan Henjak was removed from his position. This will place some level of daunt within the mind of Griffin as it is now truly his time to lead the Broncos into their next era of success.
The 2011 season for the Broncos showed exactly what they were capable of. The Broncos featured in many memorable matches including the Round 22 match up against the New Zealand Warriors as well as the breathtaking win against the St George Illawarra Dragons in the finals. This win against the defending Premiers was certainly the standout performance of the 2011 season. The entire Broncos squad turned up for this one and all contributed to the win. This is also probably Darren Lockyer’s best win of the year where it was the ball from his boot that led his team to victory in golden point extra time.
A glaring positive for the Brisbane side is the return of stalwart front rower Petero Civoniceva. Civoniceva will definitely add extra bulk in the middle of the park for the Broncos and he will certainly feel right at home back at Suncorp Stadium. The Brisbane Broncos have also acquired the services of Luke Capewell for the 2012 season who has joined the team from the Gold Coast Titans. While Capewell did not see much game time in 2011, he presents a wild card for the Broncos side. Capewell has yet to realise his potential in the NRL after failing to satisfy his coaches at both the Rabbitohs and Titans. However, there is no denying that there is potential there. Capewell is able to slot into any position in the back line as well as being able to relieve the hooking duties as seen in the recent trial. If the early candidates for Lockyer’s number 6 jumper fail to impress it would be no surprise to see Capewell given a go.
Why they will win it: The Broncos have formulated their success in the NRL for many years. Albeit their previous successes were under the guidance of master coach Wayne Bennett, the Broncos are still in a prime position to once again bounce back and reclaim their title as one of the premier sides of the NRL. The young talent that is continually procured by the Queensland capital is almost always first class. This is no doubt illustrated through the amazing feats of the young players from last season. Ben Hunt, Corey Norman and Jharal Yow Yeh all proved that they were capable players and if they continue to strive in 2012 then there is certainly no knowing how far they can take their team into the 2012 finals.
Why they won’t: While Anthony Griffin has had plenty of time to prepare for the departure of Darren Lockyer, there is still an overlying sense of uncertainty in the Broncos number 6 jumper. Lockyer without a doubt made this jumper his own and anyone who replaces him will have considerable shoes to fill.