Crushing changeroom moment after Brisbane Broncos belting

You couldn’t hear what he was saying but the message Kevin Walters delivered to his players after their latest NRL horror show was unmistakeable — you’ve disrespected the jersey.

A week after delivering a roaring pre-game rev-up that inspired his team to one of its most competitive performances of the season against Penrith, Walters was at it again after a 46-6 defeat against Parramatta on Friday night.

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As his players sat slumped in the changerooms, Walters balled up a Broncos jersey and eyeballed every one of them.

“He makes a real point of the jersey, doesn’t he?” rugby league great Billy Slater said. “It took four tackles for the Broncos to let in a try tonight. That’s the disappointing thing about their performance — their resilience on their tryline.

“Forty-six points. It’s not good enough for Kevvie, for what he thinks a Broncos player should be performing like.”

If that didn’t hurt the players, the reaction from the rugby league world to their latest embarrassment surely will.

Kevin Walters balls up the Broncos jersey as he stares down his players.Source:Channel 9

‘Diabolical’ defence just the start

Broncos great and Fox League analyst Corey Parker said there should be “huge concerns” after the lacklustre performance and pulled apart Brisbane’s right-edge defence which consisted of Tevita Pangai Junior, Brodie Croft, Herbie Farnworth and Xavier Coates.

“Brisbane’s right-edge defence was diabolical, seven tries down that right-hand side for the Broncos, 51 missed tackles in a game of football which quite simply is not good enough,” he said.

Walters didn’t disagree. “That’s a very strong left edge of Parramatta but of course we’ve got to be better than what we were,” he said in his post-match press conference.

Parker — who was a part of the Broncos coaching staff before being axed at the end of last year — believes the team crumbles as soon as the pressure is put on them.

“They’ve proven over the last year and a half that if you sustain any bit of pressure on Brisbane and they’ll go to water,” he said.

“If you’re an opposing team that would certainly be your game plan, ‘let’s put these guys under the blowtorch, build a bit of pressure around them and the cracks will show.’

“Early on in that game there were cracks, there was disjointed defensive lines, there were people coming out of the system trying to prove it themselves.”

In his press conference Walters said “there’s a lot of disappointed guys in the sheds” but wasn’t concerned the group’s spirit had been broken.

“It’s not a great result. We just didn’t control the ball. When you’re turning over possession continually against a side like Parramatta, they’ll just roll through you,” he said.

NRL: Broncos press conference after their humiliating loss to the Eels….

NRL: Broncos press conference after their humiliating loss to the Eels.

‘That’s not going to cut it’

The thrashing showed once again where the Broncos are in the NRL pecking order, despite impressing the league with last week’s performance against the ladder-leading Panthers.

The heat sapped the players quickly with the sheen of sweat clear from the opening whistle but the Broncos were their own worst enemies as the Eels ran rampant.

Parramatta finished with 59 per cent of possession and an 80 per cent completion rate, with 11 line breaks for the match.

The Broncos on the other hand completed at 68 per cent, missed 54 tackles and had 15 errors.

“That’s not going to cut it in any game of football particularly in the conditions up in Darwin,” Cooper Cronk said on Fox League.

“The Brisbane Broncos really need to go and do some homework on their right edge defence. They let in six tries down that right edge defensively and that was Croft, Pangai Jr. and Farnworth under immense pressure. I just really liked that Parramatta flew up to Darwin, got the job done, put the right game plan in place, took it to the Broncos down the middle, exposed them down the right edge defensively and came away the points 46-6.”

NRL: The Parramatta Eels have continued their impressive start to the season by demolishing the Broncos 46-6 in Darwin….

NRL: The Parramatta Eels have continued their impressive start to the season by demolishing the Broncos 46-6 in Darwin.

Parker urged the team to just get back to basics.

“Last week we saw a performance from Brisbane — particularly the intensity side of things — of where they need to be. The challenge for them was always going to be what can they produce the following week,” he said.

“Clearly 51 missed tackles, you can look at structure, you can look at everything you want but you’ve got to start looking at yourself firstly.

“There’s just no cohesion, it’s not a quick fix, there’s no trust, there’s people trying to find easy options as opposed to sticking to your strengths.

“If your strengths aren’t good enough to win a game, that’s fine, stick to your strengths, execute it to your best ability and then see what you’ve got but at the moment they’re just giving themselves no opportunity.”

I’m thinking Seibold’s Broncos would beat Walters’ Broncos on what I’ve seen tonight #NRLEelsBroncos

James Graham agreed that Brisbane is missing one very important element that all successful teams have in bucket loads: trust.

“They just don’t look like they trust each other,” he said.

“There was a moment there where (Danny) Levi, who’s new to the club, had an opportunity and he broke through but he doesn’t trust what’s going to happen next and he wants to take it on himself.

“Then you see defensively playing trying to do other players’ jobs for them, completely and utterly coming out of the system, it doesn’t look like they have a system and that’s just a lack of trust.”

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