Walsh will explode for Broncos on one proviso: Walters

Joel Gould |

Reece Walsh is tipped by coach Kevin Walters to ignite Brisbane’s attack against Penrith.
Reece Walsh is tipped by coach Kevin Walters to ignite Brisbane’s attack against Penrith.

Reece Walsh has not been the creative force he was last year but Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says the fullback will explode back into form once the Broncos eradicate their poor discipline.

The 21-year-old Walsh will return from State of Origin duty to face off with Penrith at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, his first game in Broncos colours since the round-12 loss to Gold Coast on May 26.

Walsh has only played nine games for Brisbane this year, registering just four try assists. In 2023 he played 22 games and had 26 try assists.

While he has been dangerous as an individual this season, scoring nine tries and making eight line breaks, he has not been the provider for his teammates as he was during last year’s run to the grand final.

“That creative spark is still there but we have just got to hold the ball,” Walters said.

“(The creativity) is missing because we haven’t had our discipline right. If we get our discipline right, then Walshy will explode.

“If we hold the ball that brings players like Reece, Ezra Mam, Deine Mariner and Selwyn Cobbo into the game.”

The 10th-placed Broncos have lost their last four matches and their completion rates have been poor, dropping to as low as 64 per cent in mid-June’s 22-12 loss to South Sydney.

They have also conceded silly penalties and set restarts.

“It is a mixture of a bit of attitude, a little bit of thinking about what you are doing, a little bit of over-thinking and a little bit of lack of confidence,” Walters said when asked to explain the poor performances.

“All little bits that have been around the team that I am expecting to be mowed over tomorrow night with the week of training we have had.”

The Broncos will certainly need to be on-song against three-time defending premiers Penrith.

“We are one of the very few teams that have beaten Penrith in the last couple of years,” Walters said.

“We are very confident about tomorrow night. When we get our Broncos footy on, with our discipline, we are very hard to beat.”

The best football the Broncos have played against the Panthers in recent teams came in the opening 20 minutes of the second half in last year’s 26-24 loss in the grand final when Mam nabbed a hat-trick.

“It was playing to our strengths and using our skills. It is not high risk,” Walters said.

“It is low-risk footy, but we are a very skilful side when we can control the ball and be very strong with our discipline.”