Broncos take positives out of last year’s GF: coach

Joel Gould |

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says “plenty of positives” came out of last year’s grand final loss.
Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says “plenty of positives” came out of last year’s grand final loss.

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters insists the team took “plenty  of positives” out of the grand final loss to Penrith last year, while clocking up $1000 in fines for talking about it.

The two sides clash in round three of the NRL on Thursday night in western Sydney.

During the week prop Corey Jensen alerted media to a “ban” on speaking about the 26-24 defeat in the 2023 decider when he said: “I am not allowed to talk about that, sorry”.

As Walters addressed the media about the game on Wednesday a player walked past and said, “another $20”, alluding to a fine imposed for speaking about the match.

“I’ve put a lot of money in this week. I’ve put about $1000 in after a couple of interviews I did,” Walters joked, while explaining why he wanted his players to move on from last year’s loss.

“My message probably wasn’t that clear to the players.

“I didn’t want them talking about it because I feel that they feel it is negative. It is actually a positive.

“There were 15 other teams sitting at home watching the Broncos and Panthers in the grand final. I honestly believe that Brisbane were the only team that could beat Penrith last year and I still feel the same way this year about the team and squad we have assembled. We are going to have a great year.”

Jesse Arthars.
A shattered Jesse Arthars ponders Brisbane’s grand final loss to Penrith. (James Gourley/AAP PHOTOS)

So can the Broncos go one better this year?

“Of course we can, (based) on the learnings of last year across the group …100 per cent,” Walters said.

Walters’ old mentor Bradley Charles Stubbs, known as the ‘Coach Whisperer’, told AAP that Walters was right to keep a lid on negative talk of last year’s grand final.

“Certainly, and (there were) also my own thoughts on the grand final,” Walters said when told of Stubbs’ praise.

“I take plenty of positives. There’s another $20 in (the fine jar).

“So many great things happened in that game for us as a team and as a club. We hadn’t been to a grand final for (eight) years.

“Good things for our club and our development happened for our players and myself. It was my first grand final as a head coach. All these things are important for the future of our club.

“It is sad that we lost. It is not heartbreaking and we are not sitting around sulking about it. We got beaten by a good side. We will get the benefits of last year this year and we will see them tomorrow night.”

Brisbane will be without injured prop Payne Haas and captain Adam Reynolds but Walters said the side could get the job done if they “play Broncos footy” and defend well.