Joe Ofahengaue has ben out with a calf injury.
Joe Ofahengaue has ben out with a calf injury.

Huge inclusion set to lift Broncos finals spirits

The Broncos have received an instant boost for the finals with key Origin forward Joe Ofahengaue to return for Sunday's sudden-death clash with Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium.

Ofahengaue has missed the past fortnight with a calf injury but the Maroons prop has been given the green light by medicos in a major fillip for the Broncos' pack in the opening week of the playoffs.

The grand-final bookend is set to be rushed straight into the starting side, giving Brisbane's front six another experienced forward as they prepare to face a monster Parramatta pack led by 123kg Junior Paulo.

"We will get Joe back," Broncos coach Anthony Seibold confirmed.

"Joe is looking good. The medical staff tell me he will do the majority of the session this Wednesday which is our next major session.

"He will do a little bit of running as well on Tuesday, so he will be right.

"It's good to have Joe back. He played in his first Origin series this year and he's played in a grand final (in 2015 against the Cowboys), so we need his experience and workrate."

Seibold blasted his troops for their lack of energy in Saturday night's 30-14 loss to the Bulldogs but Brisbane's qualification for the finals helped ease his disappointment.

The Broncos coach has vivid memories of Parramatta's 38-10 hammering of his side at Bankwest Stadium in round 14, but Brisbane squared the ledger a fortnight ago with a thrilling 17-16 golden-point win at Suncorp.

Seibold is wary of Parramatta's formidable record at home, with the Eels having won eight of 10 games at their shiny new Bankwest fortress.

"They have been very good at home this year," he said.

"They have only lost two games at Bankwest so I'm under no illusions about how tough it will be.

"But we only played them two weeks ago and we beat them in a fantastic game.

 

The Broncos got home against the Eels at Suncorp Stadium last month.
The Broncos got home against the Eels at Suncorp Stadium last month.

"If we don't play our best footy, our season will be over, so we need to make sure we prepare well this week."

Broncos skipper Darius Boyd insists Brisbane are not scarred by their 28-point horror show at Bankwest in June.

"We were a different team that night," Boyd said.

"I believe we are a lot better now than we were then.

"We played Parra just two weeks ago and got the win. That night (in round 14), our attitude wasn't good and that played into Parra's hands, so it's important we bounce back from this loss (to the Bulldogs on Saturday night) and defend well."

 

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News Corp Australia


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