Matty Johns slams Broncos’ cowardly act after record defeat
Rugby league great Matty Johns has added his voice to the criticism targeting Brisbane's post-match display after the club's record loss to the Roosters last week.
The Broncos were flogged 59-0 and have now conceded 93 points and scored just six in their two games since the NRL season restarted, following a 34-6 defeat to the Eels in the first match back from a two-month break because of COVID-19.
While the team has been hammered for two listless performances on the field, it has also copped blowback for its response to the shocking loss to the tri-colours.
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Coach Anthony Seibold fronted the media but no players were put up to face questions from the press pack in a breach of NRL guidelines. Brisbane reportedly escaped a fine but has been given an official warning by the league.
Former Newcastle playmaker Johns said hiding players from the cameras was most hurtful to the fans.
"That was a terrible decision to not let the players face up after the loss, 59-0," he said on the Matty Johns Podcast.
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"Because if you're a Brisbane supporter, you're sitting there shell-shocked and you're hurting.
"What they want to see after that is the players hurting as well. They want to see that the players care.
"Hiding them away is doing them no favours … it's not letting them grow up.
"Part of being a man and developing and maturing as a player is the dressing room door being open after you've played s***house and them coming in and you having to accept that."
Speaking ahead of tonight's game against Manly, Brisbane co-captain Patrick Carrigan admitted the club was in the wrong and vowed not to make the same mistake again.
"I'll put my hand up again, probably just the result and how I was feeling personally, literally had a shower and left," Carrigan told reporters. "I didn't even think about the media.
"I know a lot's been said that we were ducking and diving. That's not how I was raised, I certainly don't think that's how Crofty (fellow co-captain Brodie Croft) was raised.
"If I've ever done anything wrong I've put my hand up and admitted to it.
"I think there was a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line.
"I don't think that's what we value as a club and moving forward I think it was an oversight by the group and it won't happen further.
"I take responsibility for that.
"In hindsight, to be honest it was the last thing I was thinking about, was fronting the media. I was embarrassed by the performance and had packed up and had left."
Brisbane has made changes to its side for tonight's game against the Sea Eagles. Winger Corey Oates has been shifted to the back row while forward Ben Te'o will play his first NRL game since the 2014 grand final after returning from a stint in rugby union.
"I just think having him part of the group, he's played in the biggest games in both rugby codes all around the world," Seibold said of Te'o.
"I thought long and hard about it.
"I thought he trained very well on Sunday … although he hasn't played rugby league for some time, we believe that he can do a job off the bench for us."
Originally published as Matty Johns slams Broncos' cowardly act after record defeat