Broncos blueprint to end eight-year Storm hoodoo

Joel Gould |

Brisbane’s Jordan Riki celebrates a try in the 26-0 win over Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium in 2023.
Brisbane’s Jordan Riki celebrates a try in the 26-0 win over Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium in 2023.

Brisbane will use the template from 2023’s dominant semi-final win over Melbourne in a bid to end an eight-year losing streak at AAMI Park.

Corey Oates is the Broncos’ only survivor from their 26-16 victory at the Melbourne venue in August 2016: back then Corey Parker was the Brisbane skipper and Cameron Smith led the Storm.

The Broncos lost their next 14 games against the Storm before last year’s compelling 26-0 finals win at Suncorp Stadium, in which the Brisbane forwards bashed their Melbourne counterparts. 

It was one of the best displays by a Broncos pack in recent times.

Lock Pat Carrigan had a bust-up with Melbourne hooker Harry Grant early and then walloped his Storm opposite number Josh King to set the scene for what was to follow.

Broncos back-rower Jordan Riki had his best game for the club in a powerhouse defensive performance.

Fullback Tristan Sailor, who didn’t play in last year’s finals win, said that Suncorp performance was “definitely” the blueprint for ending Brisbane’s away issues with the Storm when the teams go head-to-head on Thursday.

“I was in the dugout watching them and the boys just went to another level in finals footy,” Sailor said.

“That’s what happens when we focus on doing our job. Our defence is a big focus again against Melbourne. 

“They are so systematic and structured … a fantastic football team.

“With our middles we have Patty (Carrigan) leading and a great back five who can carry the ball. 

“Us getting on the front foot and the middles doing their defensive work has always worked.”

Sailor has never played the Storm away. He did line up in the final-round game last year in Brisbane when both teams rested players and Melbourne won 32-22.

Former Storm captain Cameron Smith.
Then Storm captain Cameron Smith congratulates Brisbane players on their 2016 win at AAMI Park. (Tracey Nearmy/AAP PHOTOS)

He quashed suggestions the Broncos carry baggage from their  previous defeats at AAMI Park.

“I don’t (have any mental scars). We are a new team. We don’t really think too much about it,” Sailor said.

“I have never played down in Melbourne and am very excited to do it.”

While Sailor said the past would not impact Brisbane, he said former players were assisting the team in getting their defensive structure rock solid.

Ex-Broncos forward Josh Maguire was at training on Monday working on the team’s defensive drills, while club great Darius Boyd is part of the coaching staff and assists the outside backs with their defensive positioning.

“Moose (Maguire) is so experienced,” Sailor said. 

“Like Darius, he played recently. They understand how the game has quickened up and there are lots of subtleties.

“Moose is helping us work on the little things that can improve our game.”