Broncos’ best not good enough to stop onslaught
The Broncos discovered some spirit last night, but still copped a hiding as the Melbourne Storm overcame an early slumber to sink Brisbane 46-8.
A 38-point loss is hard to sugarcoat, but the Broncos have been so bad lately that it was remarkably an improvement.
For 40 minutes in wet conditions at Suncorp Stadium the Broncos went toe-to-toe with the NRL's most consistent team of the past decade.
Then Brisbane completely crumbled.
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It says a lot about how far the Broncos have fallen that losing by 38 points was not considered a complete disaster. But it wasn't far off in the end.
There were signs of improvement for Anthony Seibold's Broncos, but ultimately it was another heavy defeat and Brisbane's eighth loss from their past nine matches.
The Broncos' defence was split too easily and they lacked a killer blow with the ball to prove they are a long way off being an NRL premiership contender.
Broncos chairman Karl Morris has guaranteed Seibold will see out the remaining nine rounds of the season but Brisbane cannot keep conceding 40-plus points most weeks without serious questions being asked.
Anthony Milford's move to fullback could not have started any worse.
The Broncos' $1 million man was "nutmegged" in his first involvement which saw Storm winger Josh Addo-Carr score after only 90 seconds.
The Broncos had not even touched the ball before it bounced between Milford's legs into the in-goal in the second minute.
On recent form, the Broncos could have dropped their bundle but they instead bounced back.
Winger Herbie Farnworth crossed to level scores and the Broncos looked a far different team to the outfit that was flogged 48-0 by the Tigers last week.
Despite their sloppy start, the Storm took a 14-8 lead into the break on the back of a fabulous individual try from halfback Jahrome Hughes.
DEARDEN SPARKS UP
Seibold waited, and waited, and waited before deciding to give young gun Tom Dearden a crack at halfback.
On the basis of last night's performance, Dearden should have been in the team weeks ago.
Dearden was impressive in his first start at halfback in 411 days, barking orders at the Broncos and pulling off some big defensive plays.
At only 19, Dearden has plenty of improvement left in him but he justified Seibold's decision to finally pick him.
Seibold showed too much faith in the misfiring Brodie Croft-Milford combination, with Croft's wayward pass early in the second half that was pounced on by Addo-Carr summing up his form.
SLOPPY STORM STRIKE
Complacency was always going to be Melbourne's biggest challenge last night and the first half proved so.
The Storm were well below their clinical best, prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona spilling two balls and giving away a penalty that would have sent coach Craig Bellamy into meltdown.
But when they switched on the Storm comfortably cruised away from the Broncos.
Hughes' try was special and they edged further ahead in the 45th minute through Kenny Bromwich.
From there the Storm controlled the contest.
Young prop Tino Fa'asuamaleaui, Hughes and Addo-Carr bagged doubles as the Storm racked up their ninth win of the year and ensured the Broncos' last victory between the rivals at Suncorp was in 2009.
Broncos 8 (Tries: Farnworth & Goals: Staggs 2/2) Storm 46 (Tries: Addo-Carr 2, Hughes, K Bromwich, Faasuamaleaui 2, Papenhuyzen, Hughes & Goals: Smith 7/9) at Suncorp Stadium.
Originally published as Broncos' best not good enough to stop onslaught