BRISBANE players say they are in the dark over the club’s salary cap dramas and see no alternative to winning competition points that there must be some chance of them subsequently losing.
The Broncos put in their best performance of the season to beat Manly 36-10 at Suncorp Stadium, at the end of a week in which they were under investigation for salary cap irregularities.
Media representatives were told before coach Anthony Griffin and captain Corey Parker fronted a post-match conference no questions would be taken on the affair.
Speaking on the field at full-time, centre Dale Copley, who posted two tries after pledging to match opposite number Steve Matai’s aggression, said: ”Mate, I don’t know what’s going on.
”None of the players know. Unless they’re involved, they don’t know. I don’t know who’s at the centre of it, or what’s happening. We just knuckle down during the week. It doesn’t affect us at all.”
On radio Triple M, Brisbane’s Test star Sam Thaiday commented: ”It’s nothing we can control as players – all we can control is the performance on the field, and we did that today.”
The most common punishment for a salary cap breach is a fine, with competition points docked in extreme circumstances. And for much of this year, the Broncos have found points hard to come by.
They had some lucky breaks early in front of a 30,000-plus Sunday afternoon crowd, with winger Lachlan Maranta appearing to have knocked on in the lead-up to the opening try, and Matai denied a touchdown on an obstruction call.
But it’s what the Broncos did after this that pleased Griffin most, racing to a 20-4 half-time lead and getting close to the rivalry record scoreline of 44-10 in Brisbane’s 1988 premiership debut.
”It was our best 80 minutes of the year,” said Griffin.
”Earlier in the year, we were probably playing with a little more flair but beating ourselves. The whole group’s playing with a bit of grit at the moment and we’re getting away with some wins.”
Centre Jack Reed scored consecutive tries in the 16th and 27th minutes, from a heady Ben Hunt pass and a clever Josh Hoffman kick respectively.
Manly first troubled the scorers when Keiran Foran crossed in the 32nd minute, while Jamie Buhrer posted a consolation effort with 11 minutes remaining.
In between, the Broncos cut loose, making light of the absence of Queensland centre Justin Hodges and erasing any doubts about the possible Origin availability of Thaiday.
”It’s only fair I prove myself to be selected,” said Thaiday.
”My form might have been OK at the start of the year, but I’ve been out for five weeks.”
Manly coach Geoff Toovey said the early decisions that went against his side would not have changed the result.
He said injured duo Anthony Watmough (biceps) and Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle/hip) would probably be back this Friday.