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‘If there’s a good time to be playing against the Broncos, this is it’: The King worries for Brisbane

It’s a rare thing to see the Brisbane Broncos slouching at the bottom of the ladder.

But there they sit, with a record of 2 and 6, unquestionably feeling the intense pressure which accompanies a losing record in a one-team town.

Rugby League immortal Wally ‘The King’ Lewis rocked up to Broncos training sessions this week and tells David Morrow and Mat Thompson that a “strange mood” has descended over Red Hill.

“It hasn’t been Brisbane’s season, things aren’t going well and I’m sure they’re not going to blame anybody else bar themselves, there’s been a coupe of questionable performances.” Wally said.

“It doesn’t appear as though it’s a happy camp at the moment and when you go to training, it’s fairly quiet, the players are all in denial, they say that things are going extremely well off the field, there’s no problems, no issues with the players, it’s just that when they get onto the paddock they’re not producing anywhere near their best.”

The typically steady Broncos ship is drifting listless as they attempt to navigate through a sea of major issues. A new coach, an under-performing halves combination which saw the shock departure of Kodi Nikorima after only 8 rounds, freak injuries to key players, ho-hum on-field performances from dropped Origin stars, suspensions arising from off-field incidents, intense scrutiny from fans and media who aren’t used to the Broncos being anything other than a premiership contender.

With all eyes on Suncorp Stadium for the NRL Magic Round, you would expect the home team pull their socks up, steady the ship, secure a win and change the conversation.

Easier said than done, because the Broncos face an opponent with a terrific away record at Suncorp.

Despite boasting a team stacked with youth and inexperienced, David Morrow observes that “nobody has told the Manly youngsters that they’re not meant to win”.

“And they haven’t learned to lose yet either,” Wally adds.

“Some of their performances have been really admirable, they just keep fighting to the end.

“That doesn’t really surprise me because wherever Des Hasler goes, he seems to instill a real hunger in his players, they make sure they work within the boundaries and produce their best when it’s required.

“Can they do it tonight against Brisbane? Well, if there’s a good time to be playing the Broncos, this is it.”

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