Order a full-scale inquiry into helpless Broncos
The inexperienced Brisbane Broncos were labelled "a Q-Cup side" and received a brutal reality check of their NRL premiership credentials as the slick Sydney Roosters ran rampant in a Suncorp Stadium mauling.
The Roosters' 59-0 thrashing of the Broncos, the worst defeat in Brisbane's history, highlighted the biggest problem the Broncos are facing this season - a lack of experience where it matters.
For all the talent of rising stars Payne Haas and David Fifita (absent through injury), the Broncos lack experience, maturity and composure.
The Broncos may have been fielding the youngest engine room in the club's history, but that is mostly due to their own doing.
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Poor planning or an oversight has left the Broncos with no 100-game forwards in their ranks apart from injured captain Alex Glenn, although the signing of Ben Te'o will boost that department.
The most experienced forwards in the Broncos' team last night were props Matt Lodge (61 NRL games) and Joe Ofahengaue (92 games) - and they started the game on the bench.
That left 20-year-olds Haas, Tom Flegler and debutant hooker Cory Paix to start in the front row up against Sydney stars Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend and Sio Suia Taukeihao.
It was literally boys against men and while Broncos lock Pat Carrigan promised the Roosters wouldn't be getting a free pass, this was as good as that.
The days of the Broncos possessing an intimidating, experienced and respected forward like Shane Webcke, Petero Civoniceva or Gorden Tallis are long gone.
"They'd kill for a Webcke, Civoniceva or Tallis," said Queensland legend Paul "Fatty" Vautin in commentary.
"They're all young and developing. It's going to take them time. They'll have to learn the hard way.
"They've got massive problems."
Immortal Andrew Johns echoed Vautin's sentiments.
"They're missing a real hard head," Johns said.
"They're very inexperienced forwards."
There is no quick fix to the Broncos' leadership void.
The club has created this headache for themselves by failing to create a production line of talent and miss an entire generation between the ages of 25-30 in their forward pack.
The Broncos' promising young players are not going to become consistent NRL performers overnight. It could be years before they are a consistently good team.
While the lack of experience is a major problem for the Broncos, the absence of effort was inexcusable last night.
The likes of Glenn, Fifita, Kotoni Staggs and Tevita Pangai Jr were missing but there was enough talent to at least challenge the back-to-back premiers.
In the meantime, Broncos fans may have to get accustomed to copping stinging criticism from the likes of Vautin.
"They look like a Q-Cup side," Vautin said.
That hurts even the least experienced NRL players.
FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED
by Peter Badel and Travis Meyn
1. Brisbane chairman Karl Morris should order a full-scale inquiry into the Broncos. How can Queensland's flagship club with unmatched resources and the greatest profit margin in the code lose 59-0 to the Roosters? The club has a cultural problem and if the Broncos board, which gave Anthony Seibold a five-year contract, won't stop the rot, they should resign.
2. Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold has to overhaul his side's defensive structures. Since the advent of one referee and the six-again rule, the Broncos' forwards have not kept pace with the speed of the game. Their defensive reads close to the line reeked of a lack of communication and teamwork.
3. Queensland legend Paul Vautin delivered a stinging assessment of the Broncos. "They look like a Q-Cup side," Vautin said in commentary, comparing the Broncos to an Intrust Super Cup reserve grade outfit. Sharks legend Paul Gallen said the Broncos had no resolve and they just give up. Ouch.
4. Broncos co-captain Pat Carrigan was left with egg on his face after vowing to stand up to Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. Carrigan claimed pre-game the Broncos "won't be giving him a free pass". Nothing could have been further from the truth as JWH ran rampant against the Baby Broncos.
5. Brisbane halfback Brodie Croft and veteran Darius Boyd are in danger of being axed. Boyd's defensive reads on the left edge were poor, while Croft could lose his place to young gun Tom Dearden after struggling to provide the direction required of a halfback.
Originally published as Order a full-scale inquiry into helpless Broncos