Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
The Brisbane Broncos believe they were not overworked this year, they just hit a period of bad luck towards the end of the 2004 season.
The club has completed a review of it's 2004 fadeout and has concluded that its injury management policy was not to blame for injury tolls which destabilised its season.
The Broncos finished the regular season third on the NRL ladder, but were eliminated from the finals following losses to Melbourne and North Queensland.
"We were concerned with the injury toll and we wanted to see if it was bad luck, whether we were doing too much training or they are getting decent breaks and proper rehabilitation," Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen told The League Correspondent.
"We have covered all bases and we think it's generally bad luck - they aren't being overtaxed."
"You have Darren Lockyer breaking a rib in the last tackle of a Test match (in April), Brett Seymour injuring his knee chasing a kick through and Mick De Vere doing his knee in a non-contact drill at training."
Cullen said that the club would investigate ways to have greater participation in team training sessions next season.
"Not pointing the finger at anyone, but we felt we lacked the numbers on the paddock consistently at training and we are going to address that," he said.
"During our training sessions during the season we'd often have as many people on the sidelines doing rehab work or cross-training than training with the team.
"Mentally it's easy for a guy to say 'the knee has a twitch and I'll do the cross training'. Sometimes it's an easier option than being on the park."
Despite the spate of injuries, Cullen said the review had concluded the season was a positive one for the Broncos.
"We know the finish was pretty ordinary but we came from eighth (in 2003) to third and thought overall, considering the injuries, we had a pretty good year," he said. "If we can get them on the park next season we'll give it a decent shake."