With no Darren Lockyer to guide a youthful backline, Brisbane’s forwards have pledged to lay a premiership platform as the best defensive pack in the NRL.
The Broncos won’t be the biggest pack in the NRL in 2012.
But they expect to be one of best credentialed with potentially every starter – with the exception of young hooker Andrew McCullough – having played State of Origin or Test football for Australia or New Zealand.
Once the game’s most-decorated prop, Petero Civoniceva serves out his one-match ban against Parramatta in round one, Brisbane’s super six could boast five representative players – Ben Hannant, new skipper Sam Thaiday, Kiwi Alex Glenn and veteran Corey Parker, who played his way back into Queensland colours last season and represented Australia.
“We do have a fair few internationals in our pack but, even the young blokes coming through, they’ve all got that hunger out on the field,” said Glenn, facing a weekly battle with Matt Gillett and Ben Te’o – both keen to partner Thaiday in the Broncos back-row.
“One of our goals this season is to be the best defensive team out there this season.”
Glenn said Brisbane would miss Civoniceva’s leadership qualities in their first game against Parramatta with Josh McGuire, Ben Hannant and Scott Anderson the likely front-row rotation.
The Broncos are privately upset Melbourne officials provided the video to the NRL’s match review committee from their Hobart trial game which led to Civoniceva being charged with a careless grade-three high tackle on Storm forward Ryan Hinchcliffe.
“It’s definitely a letdown not having Petero – he’s a big loss. It’s going to be tough without him but we just have to put in and get on with it,” said Glenn.
The Kiwi international however admitted Civoniceva’s team-mates were disappointed about how his suspension came about.
“We’re all a bit disappointed with it but it’s footy. We’ve got to cop it on the chin and get on with it,” he said.
Glenn warned Civoniceva would be fired up for his delayed return in round two against North Queensland – his first appearance for Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium in five years.
“He’s pretty disappointed at what’s happened,” said Glenn.
“He loves this club and he’s shattered about missing round one.
“He’ll definitely be fired up for the Cowboys game.”