Tallis: Rookie forwards taking Broncos backwards
THE Broncos have two big problems - their halves and their forward pack.
One issue can be fixed in the short term - that's the halves. But the young forward pack is going to take years before it can live up to the hype and expectation around it.
Years. Not a couple of months, years.
But let's tackle the halves issue first.
Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima are both ball runners. They don't seem to play to structure as well as other halves.
They are both great with ball in hand and create nightmares in open play.
But game management, creating for others and opening the contest up isn't their strong suit.
Milford came to the Broncos as a fullback. Nikorima is an ideal No.14. That utility man off the bench.
How long have we been talking about them not being able to get the job done? It's been years. Something has to change.
Anthony Seibold should take a leaf out of the book of Newcastle coach Nathan Brown.
Browny tried Kalyn Ponga at five-eighth in the first three rounds.
It wasn't a raging success so he has shifted him back to fullback. He put his ego in his pocket and did the right thing for the team.
Do you put Milford back to fullback and Darius Boyd into five-eighth with Sean O'Sullivan into halfback and Nikorima back to the bench?
Whatever is best for the team has to be the No.1 priority because right now, the halves are not helping their forwards.
The really good playmakers take the pressure off their packs with good kicks into the right places at the right time.
The Broncos kicking game right now isn't doing that.
Darren Lockyer would do that for the Broncos, Ricky Stuart did for the Raiders, Andrew Johns did it for Newcastle.
They'd turn you around all day and force you to make tough carries out of your own territory. They'd put pressure on you all day, make you work. Take the sting out of you.
That isn't happening with Brisbane right now. Because Milford and Nikorima are being asked to do a job they aren't suited to doing.
Now to the forwards.
With the exception of Matt Gillett, none of those current guys make the Broncos forward packs that won premierships in the early 1990s and again in the late 1990s.
So please don't make the comparison with this Brisbane forward pack and those led by the likes of Shane Webcke and Glenn Lazarus.
It's not fair on the young blokes. Not fair at all. It's like comparing apples and oranges.
Sure, they have plenty of talent of talent and potential. But they don't have the runs on the board. And those runs are usually hard-earned after years of learning your craft.
Most forwards don't hit their peak until after their late 20s so as good as they were in the junior ranks, rival forward packs are sick of hearing about these Broncos forwards and want to teach them a lesson.
The Storm did it. The Dragons did it and the Roosters most certainly dominated the forward battle at the SCG on Thursday night.
There's nowhere to run and nowhere to hide in the middle of the park at NRL level.
And at the moment, the young Broncos are being asked to do a job that they do not have the footballing maturity to do.
In years gone by, they'd still be running around in the Queensland Cup in their late teens or early 20s, learning what playing against grown men is all about.