Three Broncos with just two games of finals experience between them have been the side’s most influential players this season, but they need more help from the club’s finals veterans if they are to go deep into September.
It is not often that two 19-year-old forwards lead the way for any NRL side but that has been the case with Payne Haas and David Fifita this year for Brisbane.
Centre Kotoni Staggs, just 20, has also been the most dangerous of all the Broncos backs this season.
Of that trio only Fifita and Staggs have played in a first grade final. Fifita was injured early in the 48-18 loss to the Dragons last year and Staggs played off the bench.
Haas has been his team's best forward most weeks in the past two months and when he hasn’t Fifita has filled the breach.
The Broncos, however, boast more games of finals experience than their elimination semi-final opponents Parramatta on Sunday and it is those experienced players that need to play to their very best as a collective if they are to prevail.
Match: Eels v Broncos
Finals Week 1 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
Captain Darius Boyd has played in 24 finals while Alex Glenn (16), Andrew McCullough (14), Matt Gillett (13) and Anthony Milford (nine) all have experienced plenty of finals football.
It was no surprise that Brisbane beat the Eels 17-16 a fortnight ago when Boyd had his best game of the season.
When the scribes are writing about "Milford magic" it is invariably after a Brisbane win.
But there hasn’t been enough of that this year. It is Haas, Fifita and Staggs who have been getting the headlines.
The Broncos have not been inside the top four at any stage this year and that is largely because not enough of their experienced big guns have had a game-changing impact.
The extraordinary thing about Haas is that he has had several nine out of 10 games, but when he doesn’t he is invariably an eight.
A "bad" game for Haas is invariably better than anything his more experienced colleagues are producing, which was exactly the case last week against Canterbury where the Broncos were well beaten 30-14.
Haas made 48 tackles and 234 metres against the Bulldogs, a superb effort in a beaten team. Too many of his older teammates had six out of 10 games or worse.
That won’t cut the mustard against the Eels. The Broncos need their representative players to dominate.
When the Broncos need a try to get them back in a game or to win one it is invariably Fifita who receives the ball with not much on and gets them out of a hole with a rampaging run, or Staggs who breaks tackles at will to conjure a try from nothing.
The Broncos need more structure to their tries and that is where the likes of McCullough, Boyd and Milford must play more of a role in the finals series.