The Courier-Mail

BRONCOS FEELING THE LOVE Players feed off their mateship


BRONCOS players have revealed how their unique team bond, unlike anything most have experience­d, is driving their premiershi­p dream.

Just how tight the Broncos players are became apparent in the lead-up to their clash with South Sydney in Round 25.

On the Broncos’ day off during their Sydney camp, two players sent a text inviting whoever was available to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner.

While these dinners usually attract six or seven players as most already have plans, 16 Broncos players showed up which stunned the group.

Darius Boyd, who has played for three clubs across 10 seasons, said the bond the 2015 Broncos had was special.

“We were down in Sydney for five days and a couple of the boys thought on our day off it would be good to have a dinner,” Boyd said.

“It wasn’t a mandated thing but 16 boys showed up, with the couple who didn’t only cause they had prior commitment­s.

“Usually with footy teams, people have their individual mates and everyone breaks up into threes and fours.

“For pretty much the whole team to rock up to a non-committed dinner, that showed just how close this group is.”

Captain Justin Hodges said this was the closest Broncos team he had been part of.

“It is quite easy to jell and the last couple of years we struggled but I think that made us stronger as a group,” Hodges said.

“The guys are always there for each other and there’s also a lot of guys with babies now and the amount of respect and love we have for each other is showing on the footy field.”

While Hodges and Broncos coach Wayne Bennett were among several club leaders who have turned from premiershi­p non-believers into men of faith, Boyd always had an inkling a premiershi­p was possible after watching the team from afar while injured in the pre-season.

“You always know that Wayne will get the team up,” Boyd said.

“With the new staff and players here, there was a lot of change. I am always confident in Wayne though.

“The whole squad, not just the 17, has done a great job here. The Cowboys are a great side. It will be a special occasion.”

Ben Hunt will return to the Broncos line-up as will Jordan Kahu and Alex Glenn for their blockbuste­r with North Queensland on Saturday.

Hunt’s absence was hardfelt in Brisbane’s loss to Melbourne last Thursday.

Anthony Milford was targeted heavily by the Storm, who may have provided a blueprint for rivals.

 ??  ?? TIGHT BUNCH: Fullback Darius Boyd says the Broncos players have formed a special bond. Picture: Getty Images
TIGHT BUNCH: Fullback Darius Boyd says the Broncos players have formed a special bond. Picture: Getty Images
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